The main objective of the research was to identify the preconditions necessary for utility-scale solar installations to have a social licence to operate in Australia.
The research consisted of threekey components:
- Quantitative phase: a survey of a representative sample of 1,197 Australians.
- Qualitative phase: a series of 15 group discussions held in capital cities, regional centres and communities near large scale solar facilities.
- Review phase: a review of the factors that influence social licence to operate solar facilities, conducted via in-depth interviews and covered in the group discussions with stakeholders in communities living near large scale solar facilities.
The quantitative survey included testing the impact of exposure to two sets of stimuli (consisting of images and information about large scale solar facilities) through asking survey participants about their attitudes towards large scale solar facilities relating to land use; efficiency; reliability; visual impacts; economic impacts; environmental impacts; health impacts and the cost of electricity before and after seeing the stimulus materials.