A survey of households in coastal North and South Carolina adjacent to proposed offshore wind energy development areas found that residents support the development, despite little to no awareness of such developments and uncertainty about potential impacts. The survey also found that about twice as many coastal Carolina residents intend social action related to local offshore wind energy compared to those who have engaged in past related actions.
The survey, conducted by NCCOS social scientists in 2018, measured awareness of local offshore wind energy development, support level, perceived impacts to important quality of life factors, place attachment, past actions and intended action, and demographic and household characteristics.
The research offers a way to gauge how differing values and perceptions within communities may influence support for local offshore wind energy development and the likelihood of citizen involvement to advance a position. With this enhanced understanding, agencies and developers are better able to anticipate public response, and can more meaningfully engage potential stakeholders throughout the planning process.
The project was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.