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Studying young people’ views on deployment of renewable energy sources in Iran through the lenses of Social Cognitive Theory

1 Risk and Resilience Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Laxenburg, Austria
2 Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
3 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Mollasani, Ahwaz, Iran
4 Sepehar University, Esfahan, Iran

Topical Section: Energy Transition and Low Carbon Technologies

Renewable energy sources (RES) have potentials to address goals of climate change mitigation at the global level. Iran has abundant RES potentials and investment into renewable energy sources can contribute to its socio-economic development and to diversification of its energy mix. Economic and technical capacities but also human factors, such as stakeholders’ views, public and social acceptance, as well as willingness to use RES, willingness to pay for their deployment and to participate in decision-making processes on energy transition, are crucial factors for deployment of RES at scale. These human factors impact development and implementation of energy transition at the national and local governance levels. Deployment of new technology and energy transition can lead to conflicting views, believes and risks perceptions among involved stakeholders but also among people affected by deployment of new technology infrastructure deployment. To be sustainable and acceptable by all social groups, such process should be based on understanding of positions of different stakeholders and development of compromise solutions. It is crucial to understand the views of young people on deployment of RES as young people represent a significant share of population and are future decision makers. Their support and willingness to use RES will be a significant driver for RES deployment in short and medium term. Based on socio cognitive theory this paper examines the patters of behavior of young adults in relation to energy use. The results show positive influence of self-rewarding to encourage young adults to participate in energy transition. Another important driver is expectation of social outcome, which involves existing social norms in the community. Trust to the source of information is another important driver and the level of information about RES has an important influence on the willingness to use them.
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