Alaska is at the forefront of climate change and subject to salient challenges including energy consumption. It is important to understand Alaskans' perceptions and opinions about energy consumption to solve Alaska's domestic energy problems and creating a sustainable future. However, it is challenging to collect public opinions about energy consumption using conventional survey methods, which are often expensive, labor-intensive, and slow. This study utilizes information-rich Twitter data to investigate Alaskans' perceptions and opinions on various energy sources and in particular clean energy sources. Using the geotagged Twitter data collected in Alaska from 2014 to 2016, a lexicon-based sentiment analysis approach was first applied to analyze the polarity in the expressed opinions. Further, a novel fuzzy-based theory is employed to derive the sentiment of the opinion in each tweet. The results indicate that there is a valuable growth rate for a set of energy-related keywords, such as “sun”, “power”, and “nuclear”. The rank of top 20 renewable energy-related keywords shows the word “Tidal” has the highest ranking followed by “solar panel”. Moreover, the attention to various types of energy is increasing dramatically among Alaskans. Importantly, Alaskans' attitudes toward energy and renewable energy changed positively from 2014 to 2016, indicating that Alaskans' energy choices are more acceptive towards or even favor renewable energy in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment