Understanding public perceptions of wood-based electricity production in Wisconsin, United States: the place-based dynamics of social representations

Banerjee, Aparjita / C. Shelly / Kathleen E. Halvorsen
External Publications (2017)

in: Environmental Sociology 3 (4), 381 - 393

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2016.1272181

Public support is critical to renewable energy sector growth, an important element of reducing fossil fuel dependence and mitigating climate change. Prevalent understandings of public support for renewable energy projects often work within a binary framework of acceptance and non-acceptance, arguably unable to capture the nuances of localized public responses to specific projects. Taking a place-based approach and insights from social representation theory, we report on public responses to wood-based electricity production in Wisconsin, USA. Findings indicate that public responses are tied to social and cultural contexts, varying in relation to community histories and identities shaped by other community resources. These results suggest that public perceptions of renewable energy technologies are shaped by representations formed in socio-spatial context, offering insight to inform future decisions in the renewable energy policy process.

About the author

Banerjee, Aparajita

Environmental and Resource Sociology, Public Policy

Further experts

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna