Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2016

DOI

10.1177/0013916514554696

Abstract

The information-deficit model is a common framework for explaining public attitudes toward new technologies, including renewable energy technology. This model assumes that public opposition to technology is based on a lack of quality information. The siting of facilities, such as commercial wind farms, frequently face opposition from residents of local communities, despite broad public support for renewable energy. Although social science has been critical of the information-deficit model, providing information to the public can influence both the substance and quality of attitudes. In this study, residents of coastal communities in Michigan, supportive of wind energy on average, were provided in-depth information about wind energy. Compared with a control group, participants who attended information sessions exhibited greater change in both their general support for wind energy and the strength of those attitudes. Possible implications for the siting of wind farms and other renewable projects are discussed.

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