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Factors influencing intention to invest in a community owned renewable energy initiative in Queensland, Australia

Richard Proudlove, Sue Finch and Sebastian Thomas

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 140, issue C

Abstract: Government support for the ongoing use of fossil fuels has polarised public opinion in Australia regarding the country's transition to low carbon energy generation. Despite this, polls indicate a desire for more meaningful engagement in the global energy transition amongst the Australian populace, which has stimulated a growing interest in Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE). This study used a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to evaluate intention to invest in a CORE project that would be sited in Queensland, Australia. The analysis also sought to identify the considerations that would have the greatest association with this intention. 67% of respondents indicated an inclination to invest in the project and the mean intention score was 5.0 out of a possible maximum of 7 in favour of investing. This mean was relatively stable across almost all demographic sub-categories for gender, age, employment and income. Beliefs related to the community benefits that the initiative would provide were the most reliable attitudinal predictor of intention to invest. The findings concur with other studies that indicate widespread support for renewables amongst Australians and which suggest that “not in my back yard” (NIMBY) concerns are not a significant influence on negative attitudes towards renewable energy in Australia.

Keywords: Energy transition; Community participation; Theory of planned behaviour; Place-based research; Energy economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111441

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