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Attitudes and perceptions of wind energy : a study from suburban Hobart

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Hoffmann, Andrew Nicholas Leon (2010) Attitudes and perceptions of wind energy : a study from suburban Hobart. Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This study sought to ascertain and analyse attitudes towards wind energy at a significant time for urban Tasmania. In the latter half of 2009, in and around the capital city of Hobart, wind energy developments were proposed for the first time. This study compiled and analysed community attitudes towards three specific development proposals: atop the ANZ Bank Building in the Hobart CBD; atop the Marine Board Building on the Hobart waterfront; and in the car park of the Lindisfarne Medical Centre. The research represents an opportunity to assess local attitudes towards wind energy, pre-development.
The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes amongst local residents towards these three developments, and explore how these might be shaped by general environmental attitudes, sense of place, and attitudes towards wind energy, both generally and locally. The presence of a Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) mentality was also explored. The primary method used was a survey of two subpopulations of local residents living in Lindisfarne and South Hobart. Details of the three proposals — and their paths to ultimate approval — were identified through the use of local newspaper articles, media reports, development applications, and relevant city council documents.
This survey employed a Likert scale questionnaire which was administered in early November 2009 within three predetermined locations according to a modified mail-based method. In an effort to identify and understand influences on support levels for the three local developments, the questionnaire included six separate sections: demographic characteristics; general environmental views; attitudes towards energy and innovation; feelings of suburban attachment; and attitudes towards wind energy both generally and locally. Statistical analyses were carried out on the resultant data.
High levels of awareness and recognition regarding the environment, the state of the earth, and the need to reduce fossil fuel usage were apparent from the results. Additionally, widespread general support of wind energy was established amongst respondents, as were widespread feelings of attachment towards their suburb of residence. Regarding the specific local wind energy development proposals however, support levels experienced a drop-off. This indicates a gap between general wind energy support and support for specific, local wind energy developments. Rather, perceived local impacts such as aesthetic infringements and noise level concerns dominated the reasons for objection, and only limited support was found for the NIMBY hypothesis. Respondents exhibited tendencies to support or oppose all developments, regardless of their varying locations. This study concludes by offering areas of further and future research, and by providing recommendations regarding future siting and design considerations.

Item Type: Thesis (Coursework Master)
Keywords: Wind power, NIMBY syndrome
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2010 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Additional Information:

Available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. This Thesis is an uncorrected text as submitted for examination. Thesis (MEnvMgt)--University of Tasmania, 2010. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 02:56
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 07:08
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