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Department of Social Sciences


The cost of energy in the Western Upper Peninsula (WUP), a rural and northern part of the state of Michigan, is among the highest in the United States. This situation has resulted in hardship for WUP residents due to exorbitant electricity bills. While interest in renewable electricity (RE) has increased in the region, the unanswered questions are what factors would make WUP residents more or less supportive of a transition to 100% RE, and how does the support for a 100% RE transition differ between counties in the WUP? This research analyzed factors that would make residents more or less supportive of a 100% RE transition in the WUP. This research investigated public perceptions through a quantitative residents’ survey (N = 347). Using logistic regression, the results show that residents’ likelihood to participate in a municipality-led initiative that will reduce their consumption by 5% is statistically significant to their probability of support for wind energy development at p < 0.05. Furthermore, the likelihood of 100% RE transition support is very high across WUP counties, with a similar trend for project preferences. The results in this research can provide a roadmap for future community-engaged planning on 100% RE in various counties in the region.

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© 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Publisher’s version of record:

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Sustainability (Switzerland)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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