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Effects of exemplar scenarios on public preferences for energy futures using the my2050 scenario-building tool

Demski, Christina; Spence, Alexa; Pidgeon, Nick

Authors

Christina Demski

Alexa Spence

Nick Pidgeon



Abstract

Understanding which energy future configurations provide publicly acceptable levels of energy security, affordability, and environmental protection is critical for institutional decision-making. However, little is known about how scenarios influence energy preferences. Here we present nationally representative UK data on public preferences for energy futures using the my2050 scenario-building tool that encourages engagement with the holistic complexities of system change. Engagement with the tool strengthened existing preferences for renewable energy and intentions to take personal action. Importantly, patterns of energy preferences were influenced by exemplar scenarios, which served as reference points that anchored choices. Carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, biofuels, and changes to heating and travel were particularly impacted by scenarios indicating uncertainty and ambivalence regarding these options. Scenarios (and scenario-building tools) are valuable for engaging citizens about future energy systems. However, care is required in their design and interpretation to reach robust conclusions about underlying preferences and acceptance.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 13, 2017
Journal Nature Energy
Electronic ISSN 1520-8524
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
APA6 Citation Demski, C., Spence, A., & Pidgeon, N. (2017). Effects of exemplar scenarios on public preferences for energy futures using the my2050 scenario-building tool. Nature Energy, 2, doi:10.1038/nenergy.2017.27
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2017.27
Keywords Decision making, Energy and society, Psychology and behaviour
Publisher URL http://www.nature.com/articles/nenergy201727
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Demski et al Nature Energy my2050 postprint.pdf (537 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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