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Title: Public preferences towards future energy policy in the UK : a choice experiment approach
Author: Tinch, Yelena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 2707
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2013
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The key focus of this dissertation is to produce research upon energy and climate change issues in the UK in a policy relevant and theoretically sound way. It aims to inform industry and policy makers to allow politically palatable, successful and effective future energy and climate change policy to be developed by identifying the preferences of the public for different policy scenarios. The Choice Experiment method was employed throughout this dissertation as the consistent methodological approach allowed for greater comparability of the results in addition to allowing the method’s robustness and reliability to be tested. The first part of this research (Chapter 3) is concerned with investigating attitudes and willingness to pay for future generation portfolio of Scotland by investigating household preferences for various energy generating options, such as wind, nuclear and biomass compared to the current generation mix. We identified the Scottish public have positive and significant preference towards wind and nuclear power over the current energy mix. We also found heterogeneity in public preferences depending on where respondents live which is reflected in their preferences towards specific attributes. Presence of non-compensatory behaviour in our sample is another element which was investigated in this part. Chapters 4 and 5 contain analyses of two independent choice experiments which were run in parallel. They take a UK-wide approach and investigate public preferences for more general areas of future energy and climate change policy, such as: carbon reduction targets, focus on energy efficiency improvements and attitudes to micro-generation versus large scale renewable generation. In addition the preferences for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change are investigated. Micro-generation is not often considered by energy companies when it comes to planning their generation strategies and was therefore of particular relevance to this research. As such Chapter 6 identifies the importance that the public places on this particular energy option and how it compares with their preferences towards other key energy and climate change policies of the UK. To analyse reliability of the results and to contribute to the theoretical field of stated preference valuation, each of the experiments contained two overlapping attributes, i.e. increase in level of micro-generation and an increase in total cost to a household, comparison of which was also carried out in Chapter 6. Finally in Chapter 7 the results found in the sections described above are discussed with reference to the policy background in the UK and Scotland. Also issues with the research and areas for further study are identified.
Supervisor: Hanley, Nicholas Sponsor: NERC ; ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: energy ; public preferences ; choice experiment ; renewable energy ; microgeneration ; households ; energy policy ; Energy development United Kingdom Cost effectiveness ; Energy development Social aspects United Kingdom ; Energy policy United Kingdom