Green Energy for Islands

WP (II): Social survey of public knowledge and engagement

In the framework of WP II, a social survey was created with the goal to reveal the knowledge, preferences, and thoughts of the inhabitants of the island on various energy issues and technologies. The realization of this survey was performed on the island.

In the beginning of the survey realization, the inhabitants of the island confronted the survey in a conservative manner and appeared rather skeptical towards the researcher. A rather negative reaction to the sound of renewable energy sources and sustainability was finally traced to the opposing stance of people to large-scale wind turbine projects planned to be built on the south side of the island, land that has been declared as national heritage. The negativity and lack of trust from the side of the people, made the realization of the questionnaire more complex. Nonetheless, 183 questionnaires were completed in total. The data of the survey were digitalized, processed and linked to the website of the project, while a database of 33 people interested in receiving further information about the project and its results was created.

Overall, it was seen both from the personal discussions and the questionnaire that people had an overall positive stand towards smaller-scale renewable energy resources that would be used for the island’s energy self-sufficiency.

To get a better and more sincere feeling of the wishes of the people of the island, one-to-one discussions were planned. Many were willing to discuss and cooperate concerning the environment and the improvement of their community.Overall, it was seen both from the personal discussions and the questionnaire that people had an overall positive stand towards smaller-scale renewable energy resources that would be used for the island’s energy self-sufficiency.

The visit of the researcher on the island included various scheduled meetings with residents, people from the local authorities and employees of the local energy provider. The purpose of these meetings was threefold: first, to present the project, its goals and structure, second, to provide information on energy conversion strategies and policies when wished, and, third, to collect more data and opinions on energy issues and projects that the community had been involved in in the past.

183 questionnaires were completed for the survey, which represents about 6% of the island’s population. The survey data were then digitized, processed and linked to the website of the project, while a database of 33 people interested to be further informed about the progress of the project has been created.

Deliverable

Poster “Towards energy independence for Skyros: the social dimension”

(as presented in the conference “Adaptation Strategies to Global Environmental Change in the Mediterranean City and the Role of Global Earth Observations Conference” (June 10-11, 2014) in Athens)