Geothermal technology in Australia: investigating social acceptance

Dowd, Anne-Maree, Boughen, Naomi, Ashworth, Peta and Carr-Cornish, Simone (2011) Geothermal technology in Australia: investigating social acceptance. Energy Policy, 39 10: 6301-6307. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2011.07.029

Author Dowd, Anne-Maree
Boughen, Naomi
Ashworth, Peta
Carr-Cornish, Simone
Title Geothermal technology in Australia: investigating social acceptance
Journal name Energy Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-4215
Publication date 2011-10
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.07.029
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 39
Issue 10
Start page 6301
End page 6307
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Issues of social acceptance, such as lack of awareness and negative community perceptions and reactions, can affect low emission energy technology development, despite general support observed for reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. Negative community reactions and lack of understanding have affected geothermal developments, as demonstrated by the fearful community reactions and negative media experienced in response to seismic disturbances caused by "hot rock" geothermal energy generation in Switzerland and Germany. Focusing on geothermal energy, this paper presents the results of using a participatory action research methodology to engage diverse groups within the Australian public. A key finding is that the majority of the Australian public report limited the knowledge or understanding of geothermal technology and have various concerns including water usage and seismic activity instigated by geothermal drilling. However, geothermal energy receives general support due to a common trend to champion renewable energy sources in preference to traditional forms of energy generation and controversial technologies. This paper also demonstrates the effectiveness of using an engagement process to explore public understanding of energy technologies in the context of climate change, and suggests a way forward for governments and industry to allocate resources for greatest impact when communicating about geothermal technology.
Keyword Geothermal technology
Participatory action research
Societal acceptance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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