Offshore wind farm developments - public perceptions: survey

Findings from a survey exploring public perceptions of offshore wind farm (OWF) developments in Scotland. It describes whether and how respondents in Scotland have been impacted by OWFs, their attitudes to OWFs, and how OWFS affect their tourism and recreation choices.

Appendix D – Study limitations

All surveys are, by their nature, estimates of the population which they represent, in this case a national survey of adults (16 years and older) in Scotland, and a survey of adults (16 years and over) who live in Scotland's coastal areas.

Representativeness of estimates is increased through the sampling approach; choosing respondents at random and broadly in line with the wider population; and through weighting of the raw data to known population characteristics. There are also considerations unique to this study, important when interpreting survey findings.

Firstly, while sample sizes of those with lived experience are large enough to gain insight, when these are further broken down by age group, location and proximity to the offshore development, sub-groups are not large enough to be tested for significant relationships.

Secondly, a simple random sampling approach was used, rather than a stratified random sampling approach. As a result, there are more urban respondents than rural and more respondents from the east coast than the west. While this mirrors the spread of the population in Scotland, it does mean that some groups of interest are underrepresented. For example, rural populations are more likely to be affected by offshore windfarms than urban populations.

In addition, there are issues of interpretation which need to be mentioned. Respondents were asked about their awareness of offshore wind farms located near to where they live. There are different ways this question could be interpreted, and so analysing the responses is not straightforward. A respondent may not consider themselves to be near to the wind farm but could be fully aware of a development and thus answer 'no' while another respondent with awareness in of the same wind farm in a similar location may say 'yes'. They could answer yes or no depending how near to the development they feel.

While these issues are important to acknowledge, the data and commentary in this report represent a robust and accurate reflection of perceptions of offshore wind farms in Scotland and should be used to help shape future thinking and policy towards their future development.

How to access background or source data

The data collected for this <statistical bulletin / social research publication>:

☐ are available in more detail through Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics

☐ are available via an alternative route <specify or delete this text>

☒ may be made available on request, subject to consideration of legal and ethical factors. Please contact Scottish Government for further information.

☐ cannot be made available by Scottish Government for further analysis as Scottish Government is not the data controller.



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