Findings on the Finnish students' knowledge and perceptions of bioenergy

HALDER P, PIETARINEN J, HAVU-NUUTINEN S AND PELKONEN P. 2010. Young citizens’ knowledge and perceptions of bioenergy and future policy implications. Energy Policy 38: 3058–3066.
In the past few years extensive discussions on bioenergy has been both positive and negative. In Europe, the image of bioenergy appears to be low with lack of broad public support. Previous studies show that younger people are unsure about many issues surrounding renewable energy. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge and perceptions of bioenergy among pupils in North Karelia, Finland. Data drawn from 495 ninth grade students indicate that the majority of them lack in-depth knowledge about different renewable energy sources, including bioenergy. Only a small percentage has a ‘high’ level of knowledge about bioenergy and the majority indicates critical perceptions of it. Statistically significant gender differences are not apparent. Girls appear to be more knowledgeable than boys. Results also show a clear ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ difference in perceptions of bioenergy. Perceptions of urban respondents being more positive than that of their rural counterparts. Developing collaboration between future bioenergy policies and bioenergy education for younger citizens is necessary for their engagement in critical debates on bioenergy.

Keywords: Young citizens; Bioenergy; Policy


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