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Current Alternative Energy


ISSN (Print): 2405-4631
ISSN (Online): 2405-464X

Research Article

Situational and Trans-Situational Correlates of Public Energy Literacy: A Western U.S. Case Study

Author(s): Muhammad Usman Amin Siddiqi, Brent S. Steel* and Erika Allen Wolters

Volume 5, Issue 1, 2022

Published on: 27 April, 2022

Article ID: e090322201965 Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/2405463105666220309142802

Price: $65


Background: Recent push for ‘energy democracy’ necessitates a well-informed citizenry vis-à-vis energy policy, especially in the wake of ideologically charged and divergent views about the existence and severity of climate change among American citizens. Citizens’ involvement in energy policy processes in democratic countries makes it important to assess the depth and scope of energy policy awareness and knowledge among the public, as well as to consider the factors that promote or hinder how informed people are about energy policy issues.

Objectives: This study aims at examining the levels of public informedness and knowledge of energy policy and analyzing their potential correlates in the western U.S. states of California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The study also analyzes the impact of public awareness and knowledge on public support for government funding for renewable energy technology research.

Methods: Using survey data of 1804 randomly selected respondents from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, the study employs ordinal logistic regression to trans-situational and situational models predicting self-assessed informedness and objective measure of knowledge about energy policy as well as public support for federal funding for renewable energy technology research.

Results: The study found that variables related to socio-economic status (SES) are stronger predictors of public informedness and knowledge about energy policy than situational variables like values and efficacy, except for climate change beliefs that have a positive relationship with informedness and knowledge.

Conclusion: The study also found that informedness and knowledge of energy policy are positively associated with support for government funding for renewable energy research.

Keywords: Energy democracy, energy literacy, energy policy, policy support, renewable energy technology, socio-economic status (SES).

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