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Exploring future scientists' awareness about and attitudes towards renewable energy sources

Karasmanaki, Evangelia, Tsantopoulos, Georgios
Energy policy 2019 v.131 pp. 111-119
attitudes and opinions, college students, data collection, energy, environmental management, experts, forestry, questionnaires, renewable energy sources, scientists, Greece
Abundant research has focused on the public acceptance of renewable energy sources (RES) since their successful implementation is often dependent on the public. Yet, little is known about the attitudes of university students towards RES whose study field is related to the environment, even though the mindset of these students is considered relevant since they are possible experts in the RES field. To contribute to this neglected research strand, this paper aims to explore the awareness about and attitudes towards RES of students majoring in the Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. Results based on quantitative data collected via questionnaire show that the surveyed students support renewables and have awareness about the current polluting energy system. Moreover, they have positive environmental attitudes and fully recognize the need for energy transition. Finally, there are significant differences among students from different years of study, highlighting that fourth- and fifth-year students take greater interest in working in the RES sector after they complete their studies.