Greater acceptability, lower compensations required? The impact of perceived net benefits on willingness to accept nuclear energy projects

Contu, Davide
Elshareif, Elgilani
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Emerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Purpose: This paper aims to estimate willingness to accept (WTA) hypothetical nuclear energy projects and the impact of net perceived benefits across three countries: Italy, a country without nuclear plants in operation; the UK, a country with nuclear plants in operation and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has more recently opted for the inclusion of nuclear energy in its energy mix. These valuations can support cost-benefit analyses by allowing policymakers to account for additional benefits and costs which would be otherwise neglected. Design/methodology/approach: Data collection was conducted through online nationwide surveys, for a total of over 4,000 individuals sampled from Italy, the UK and the UAE. The surveys included choice experiments designed to elicit preferences towards nuclear energy in the form of WTA, indicating estimated compensations for welfare worsening changes and questions to measure perceived risks and benefits. Findings: The average WTA/Km is the lowest for the case of the UAE. What is more, perceived net positive benefits tend to decrease the WTA required by the UAE respondents? Moreover, across the cases, albeit to a lesser extent with regard to Italy’s case, there is evidence that a more positive benefit perception seems to increase the valuation of environmental and public benefits offered as part of the experiment. Originality/value: The contribution of this study is primarily twofold: first, it provides a comparison of WTA values in a context where the availability of choice experiment data is scant; second, it assesses whether and to what extent perceived net positive benefits of nuclear energy impact WTA of nuclear energy projects. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.
This article is not available at CUD collection. The version of scholarly record of this article is published in International Journal of Energy Sector Management (2022), available online at:
Choice experiments, Cost-benefit analysis, Nuclear, Stated preferences
Contu, D., & Elshareif, E. E. (2022). Greater acceptability, lower compensations required? the impact of perceived net benefits on willingness to accept nuclear energy projects. International Journal of Energy Sector Management, 16(2), 339-356.