Public opinion of different energy sources is critical for the planning of future energy portfolios. The public has an active role to play in the development of energy policy and operation of the energy market. However, in developing nations, studies involving public opinion on renewable energy are lacking. Public acceptability and reception to renewable energy are important because of their relationship to policymaking, especially in democratic societies. Most studies of renewable energy diffusion, however, take a top-down approach, focusing exclusively on the policymakers, while neglecting the grassroots perspectives. This study presents an assessment of public awareness, acceptance, and attitude towards renewable energy by focusing on a nationwide survey of 1020 respondents in Kenya. Kenyan citizens living in both urban and rural areas, strongly approve the development of renewable energy technologies (73%) and believe that renewable energy technologies will reduce the cost of electricity (91%). Also, 69.5% of Kenyan respondents indicated a high level of awareness for renewable energy-related terms. The ordered logistic regressions reveal a significant relationship between the dependent variable “attitude” and independent variables of “awareness” and “education” for all renewables (solar, wind and geothermal) except biomass. This study underscores the role of policymakers in shifting from traditional approaches that focus on meeting Kenya's energy demands without considering public views. Investigating public awareness, acceptance, and attitude towards renewable energy are thus critical for providing insights necessary for an effective policy formulation.
- Ordered logistic regression
- Renewable energy