Title: Public Perceptions of Energy Storage

Thomas G, Demski CC, Pidgeon N (2019). Public Perceptions of Energy Storage. Cardiff University. http://doi.org/10.17035/d.2018.0052852533

Access Rights: Data can be made available only subject to certain contractual terms

Access Method: Click to email a request for this data to opendata@cardiff.ac.uk

Cardiff University Dataset Creators

Dataset Details

Publisher: Cardiff University

Date (year) of data becoming publicly available: 2019

Data format: .pdf, .xlsx

Estimated total storage size of dataset: Less than 100 megabytes

Number of Files In Dataset: 5

DOI : 10.17035/d.2018.0052852533

DOI URL: http://doi.org/10.17035/d.2018.0052852533

Related URL: http://www.restless.org.uk/project-results


Audio and visual files from the workshop cannot be made publicly available due to participant confidentiality and as a result of the nature of the consent given by participants in the research. However, we will consider requests to share anonymised transcripts for research purposes on a case-by-case basis.

Consent terms agreed by participants mean that data (transcripts) may be kept for only 5 years post-project. Following this period, the transcripts will be destroyed.

Information that is freely available includes materials for workshop participants to inform and stimulate discussion: technology sheets describing options for improving energy-system flexibility; posters describing ways of managing relationships between energy users and storage-technology providers; short scenarios on how energy storage might impact a person's life and environment.

Study Description

Qualitative- deliberative workshops examining public perceptions of energy storage among members of the UK public as part of the EPSRC funded project Realising Energy Storage Technologies in Low-carbon Energy Systems (RESTLESS)
Research Sample
Four deliberative workshops were held in three locations across the UK – Birmingham (x2) in England, Abergavenny in Wales, and Aberdeen in Scotland. Between 11 and 12 participants attended each workshop. Given the qualitative nature of the research, the recruited sample aimed to ensure participants represented a diverse set of perspectives but did not aim to be statistically representative of the UK population.
Sampling Strategy
The sampling strategy employed was purposive in nature, aiming to capture a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. In addition to sampling across basic demographic variables, we also aimed to represent participants with different political viewpoints. To this end self-reported voting during the 2015 UK general election was used as a proxy to screen prospective participants. We also judged housing tenure and past experiences of energy storage and infrastructure to be important shared experiences that may shape people’s views on energy storage technologies. Therefore, we sampled the two Birmingham groups either to include suburban homeowners or urban tenants living in rented accommodation. Abergavenny represented rural residents, typically living in larger properties in an area lacking connection to the national gas grid, and thus already reliant on domestic scale energy storage in the form of oil tanks or electrically powered heat storage (storage heaters and hot water tanks). Aberdeen was selected to represent an area with significant past experience of energy infrastructure development in the form of an established oil and gas industry as well as more recent low carbon energy projects. Aberdeen and Abergavenny participants were mixed in terms of housing tenure and recruited from the urban centre as well as surrounding suburbs and countryside.

To the extent we aimed to recruit diverse groups representing contexts we felt likely to be most important in shaping perceptions of energy storage, data saturation was considered in planning sampling and recruitment. Indeed the final workshop in Aberdeen was arranged after data collection in Birmingham and Abergavenny, with the aim of exploring whether proximity to existing energy infrastructure may yield new findings. However, due to time and financial constraints it has not been possible to run further workshops beyond this final session. In particular we suspect participants experiencing deployments of novel storage technologies may have specific experiences not captured in this study. We reflect on this briefly in the conclusion to the manuscript (p13) and make recommendations for further research at such sites in the manuscript conclusion (p21).
Recruitment and Non-Participation
Recruitment was conducted by a professional market research company on the street, at locations near each workshop venue. Prospective participants were offered a £100 honorarium for taking part. Recruitment was conducted topic blind to reduce the impact of self-selection bias. To the extent particular types of people may be less likely to agree to participate in social scientific research of this nature, it is possible this may have an impact on our findings. However, we do feel other steps taken during our recruitment process to ensure a diverse range of perspectives were included mean we have covered most of the responses likely to be found among the UK public to the issue of under investigation.

Out of 48 participants recruited, 2 failed to attend the workshops without providing explanation. We experienced no further attrition during the study.
Data Collection
Data was collected during 4x 7 hour long deliberative workshops. These involved a series of whole group discussions, interspersed with smaller split group discussions. To facilitate this, we developed a generic protocol for use across all workshops including a number of carefully constructed and balanced supporting materials.

Groups were moderated by authors 1 and 2, author three and colleagues from our research group were also present during data collection in order to provide organizational support (time keeping, operating audiovisual recorders, organizing refreshments during breaks etc). As this was an exploratory qualitative study, no hypothesis or experimental condition was specified, however in line with established procedures in qualitative research, we reflect on the role of researchers in shaping the data collected the methodology section of the manuscript (pp.20-21).

Workshops were audio recorded using ZOOM H1 Handy recorders (x4). Recordings were then transcribed by a professional company, and transcripts were checked by author 1 prior to analysis. To assist in attributing voices to the correct participants, whole group discussions were also video recorded using a Canon LEGERIA HF S21 HD Camcorder. After audio transcription, video files played no further role in analysis.
Workshops were held between 9:30 and 17:00 on the following dates:
Birmingham (homeowners)- 19th July 2017
Birmingham (tenants)- 20th July 2017
Abergavenny- 21st July 2017
Aberdeen- 10th October 2017

Audio and visual files from the workshop cannot be made publicly available due to participant confidentiality and as a result of the nature of the consent given by participants in the research. However, we will consider requests to share anonymised transcripts for research purposes on a case-by-case basis.
Research results based upon these data are published at http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110908 and https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101494


Deliberative Workshops, Public perceptions research

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Last updated on 2021-07-01 at 13:06