Exploring consumer perception and attitudes towards renewable energy with a view to developing best practice for marketing renewable energy
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This study was conducted in County Donegal and the overall purpose is to explore perception and attitudes towards renewable energy with a view to developing best practice for marketing renewable energy in County Donegal as a future source of sustainability. Literature from government agencies and international sources was reviewed to establish issues surrounding global warming, sustainability and renewable energy. The European Union imports 50 percent of its energy requirements. If no counteractive measures are taken within the next 20 to 30 years, this figure will rise to 70 percent. Ireland relies upon imported non-renewable fossil fuels to satisfy around 86 percent of its total energy requirement (electricity, heat and transport). There are risks involved with this high reliance on imports, namely social and economic consequences and susceptibility to increasing energy prices. The Irish climate is well suited to sourcing renewables such as solar, geothermal and biomass. There is a strong argument for the need to introduce and utilise renewable energy sources globally and locally to create a more sustainable future for generations to come. The primary research comprised: a comprehensive survey questionnaire of a representative sample of homeowners who were granted commencement notice by the local authority (Donegal County Council) for new house builds in the year 2006; depth interviews with a number of building contractors representing micro and small enterprises comprising the six electoral areas in County Donegal. The findings of this study indicate that respondents in County Donegal believe that the high cost of installation of renewable energy products influences the volume of sales of same. Respondents largely consider the current government grant aid available is inadequate in assisting homeowners with the installation of renewable energy systems. Furthermore, there is a high potential for Ireland to improve its promotion of renewable energy sources.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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