Wednesday, December 13, 2017

United Kingdom: Geothermal Energy Projects and Good Outreach - A Poster Presentation

Poster from AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, USA

PA31B-0348: Towards a Geocognition of Geothermal Energy: an Evolving Research Partnership in South West England

Hazel Gibson, (Plymouth University), Iain S Stewart (Plymouth University) and Peter Ledingham (Geothermal Engineering Ltd)

The development and deployment of novel geological technologies in industry often raise anxiety in the public sphere. New technologies are intrinsically unfamiliar, not only to the public, but also to other technical specialists in the field. This can focus conflict and uncertainty around issues that may not actually be problematic, or obscure other issues that may actually warrant closer inspection. An example of an emergent geo-technology that has received little attention in the public or general technical spheres is the introduction of Enhanced Geothermal Power in the UK. In early 2018, a project testing the viability of deep geothermal heat and power will begin in Cornwall, England, and is likely to face contested issues of public perception that have confronted other novel geological technologies, such as Carbon Capture and Storage and hydraulic fracturing.

To address concerns about how the UK public will conceptualise this new technology, the Cornish deep geothermal project has developed an innovative partnership between the industry partner operating the test drilling site and a geoscience cognition research partner.

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