A. Budžytė “Risk perception and social acceptability of energy technologies in the context of climate change” doctoral dissertation defence

Thesis Defense

Author, Institution: Agnė Budžytė, Kaunas University of Technology

Science area, field of science: Social Sciences, Sociology, S005

Scientific supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aistė Balžekienė (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005)

Dissertation Defence Board of Sociology Science Field:
Prof. Dr. Vylius Leonavičius (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005) – chairman
Dr. Vladas Gaidys (Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005)
Dr. Dainius Genys (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005)
Prof. Dr. Tapio Litmanen (University of Jyväskylä, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005)
Dr. Vaidas Morkevičius (Kaunas University of Technology, Social Sciences, Sociology, S005)

The dissertation defence takes place online.

The doctoral dissertation is available at the library of Kaunas University of Technology (K. Donelaičio g. 20, Kaunas).

Annotation:

In political discourse, climate change issues are often linked to the need to implement an energy transition based not only on changes in the economy and politics, but also in social life. Risk perception and social acceptability of technologies are seen as the most important factors for the further progress of a socially responsible and aware society. Therefore, the research conducted in this dissertation aimed to uncover the factors shaping the risk perception and social acceptability of energy technologies among the Lithuanian population in the context of climate change.
The theoretical approach of the dissertation was based on the ideas of risk society, ecological and reflexive modernization, and systems theories. The data for the study were obtained during the implementation of the LMT-funded project ” Public Perceptions of Climate Change: Lithuanian case in a European Comparative Perspective”, in which a representative survey of the Lithuanian population was conducted through direct interviews.
The study found that while Lithuanians are relatively unconcerned about the problem of climate change, renewable energy technologies are viewed positively and are associated with lower risk. The acceptability of these technologies is most influenced by concerns about energy security in terms of energy affordability, environmental protection and stable energy supply. Averting climate change issues reduces awareness of the risks of non-renewable energy technologies. Thus, in preparation for the implementation of the energy transition, it is necessary to raise public awareness of the global challenges and to seek for measures that encourage the population to become more actively involved and responsible.

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