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Exploring public perceptions of energy security risks in the UK

Demski, Christina C., Poortinga, Wouter and Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank 2014. Exploring public perceptions of energy security risks in the UK. Energy Policy 66 , pp. 369-378. 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.079

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Along with climate change and affordability, concerns about energy security are key drivers behind proposals for major energy system change in the UK and numerous other countries. Unlike climate change we know very little about how the public thinks and feels about this aspect of sustainability and energy policy. Beyond engaging critically with conceptual and theoretical discussions, empirical data from two surveys (Cardiff postal survey, N=520; online UK survey, N=499) using a ten item energy security scale are presented and discussed. Here we show that aspects of energy security are certainly of concern to the UK public, with particularly high concern around dependence on fossil fuels/imports and relatively lower expressed concern for actual disruption of energy supply. However public concerns around energy security are only emerging, and likely to change depending on the context in which it is discussed (e.g. in comparison to climate change). In addition, findings from public interviews are used to further contextualise the survey findings, showing unfamiliarity among the UK public with regards to the term “energy security”. We discuss implications, and further work that would be useful for understanding public perceptions in more depth.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy security; Public perceptions; Climate change
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s policy at (accessed 17/11/2014)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0301-4215
Funders: Leverhulme Trust, NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2022 16:26

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