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Social Attitudes towards Wind Farms and other Renewable Energy Sources in Poland

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Postawy Polaków wobec farm wiatrowych w aspekcie zrównoważonego rozwoju generacji energii elektrycznej
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Introduction. The development of the wind power industry brings benefits for humans and the natural environment through the reduction of pollution emitted into the atmosphere, the creation of new jobs, and the improvement of the energy security of the country. At the same time, however, it causes people’s anxiety about adverse effects of wind farms on the environment and human health. The purpose of the study was to analyze the social attitudes of Poles toward wind power and other renewable energy sources. Material and methods. The research was carried out using the street survey method throughout the whole of Poland It involved 1,169 respondents, including 680 (58.2%) from urban and 489 (41.8%) from rural areas; 354 (17.2%) respondents lived at a distance of more than 3 km from wind farms. Results. The majority of those he surveyed support the development of the renewable energy source and wind industry, and can see the sense of investments in this sector. Every fifth respondent is prepared to pay more for renewable energy, bearing in mind that it reduces the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. The use of wind power contributes to: the protection of human health, the purity of the natural environment, the creation of new jobs, technological progress of Poland, the reduction of the air pollution, the improvement of energy security of the country, the prosperity of the region and its dwellers. Conclusions. Poles who do not live near renewable energy investments support the development of this sector. Nevertheless, the NIMBY syndrome cannot be excluded. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research on two groups – a group of people living near renewable energy investments and residents of places where such investments are not planned. Polish people also support for pro-ecological actions and demonstrate positive attitudes toward wind power and other renewable energy sources. They can see benefits for humans and the environment resulting from the development of wind energy and other renewables, and declare pro-ecological actions.
Wstęp. Rozwój energetyki wiatrowej jest strategią zrównoważonego rozwoju, przynosi wymierne korzyści dla człowieka i środowiska naturalnego, między innymi poprzez zmniejszenie emisji zanieczyszczeń do atmosfery, w tym redukcji emisji CO2, tworzenie nowych miejsc pracy, oraz wzrost bezpieczeństwa energetycznego kraju. Ale prowadzi również do niepokoju wśród mieszkańców miejscowości, w których inwestycje są planowane, związanego z obawami o niekorzystny wpływ farm wiatrowych na zdrowie człowieka i środowisko. Celem pracy było określenie postaw Polaków wobec zrównoważonego rozwoju generacji energii elektrycznej, w tym wobec energetyki wiatrowej. Materiał i metody. Badania przeprowadzono na obszarze całej Polski, wśród 1169 osób, w tym 680 (58,2%) mieszkańców miast i 489 (41,8%) mieszkańców wsi. Wyniki. Rozwój odnawialnych źródeł energii, w tym energetyki wiatrowej jest popierany przez większość respondentów, co piąty badany jest skłonny zapłacić więcej za energię odnawialną mając świadomość redukcji emisji CO2 do atmosfery. Zdaniem badanych odnawialne źródła energii wpływają na: ochronę zdrowia mieszkańców, czystość środowiska naturalnego, tworzenie nowych miejsc pracy, postęp technologiczny Polski, zmniejszenie zanieczyszczenia powietrza, zwiększenie bezpieczeństwa energetycznego kraju, wzrost zamożności gminy. Wnioski. Polacy nie mieszkający w pobliżu inwestycji w energetykę odnawialną wspierają rozwój tego sektora, jednakże nie można wykluczyć występowania syndromu NIMBY. Koniecznym jest przeprowadzenie badań w dwóch grupach – w grupie osób mieszkających w strefie inwestycji w odnawialne źródła energii oraz wśród mieszkańców miejscowości, w których takie inwestycje nie są planowane.
  • Department of Humanities in Medicine, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
  • Department of Family Medicine, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland; Institute of Cosmetology, Public Higher Medical Professional School in Opole, Poland
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