What Citizens Want and Need to Accept Electricity System Change
In May 2022, the Conservation Council released Factors Accepting Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy and Transmission Projects, a study which asked Canadians to define the reasons they would support or oppose new renewable energy projects in their community.
Our team observed that, while research consistently shows Canadians strongly support renewable energy to generate non-polluting electricity, this support doesn’t always hold up when it comes time to break ground on new projects in their own community.
We wanted to know why, and took the question directly to Canadians. This research was developed using national focus groups in spring 2022. A number of energy-related topics were discussed, ranging from factors that would encourage and discourage residents allowing renewable energy projects in their community, to benefits expected from such a project, to a review of several arguments designed to encourage the development of renewable energy and transmission lines.
Our research shows that, overwhelmingly, fairness is the biggest factor influencing the success of a project. People will accept renewable energy projects in their community if they feel the project—from conception to construction to generation—is done fairly, with particular focus on fairness in sharing the costs and benefits of the project with the local community, and feeling they had fair access to and influence over decisions about the project.
Read the full report here (English only)
Watch our webinar with Dr. Louise Comeau explaining the results of the study here.