The social and political complexities of learning in carbon capture and storage demonstration projects

Markusson, N. and Ishii, A. and Stephens, J. C. (2011) The social and political complexities of learning in carbon capture and storage demonstration projects. Global Environmental Change, 21 (2). pp. 293-302.

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Demonstration of a fully integrated power plant with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at scale has not yet been achieved, despite growing international political interest in the potential of the technology to contribute to climate change mitigation and calls from multiple constituents for more demonstration projects. Acknowledging the scale of learning that still must occur for the technology to advance towards deployment, multiple CCS demonstration projects of various scales are emerging globally. Current plans for learning and knowledge sharing associated with demonstration projects, however, seem to be limited and narrowly conceived, raising questions about whether the projects will deliver on the expectations raised. Through a comparison of the structure, framing and socio-political context of three very different CCS demonstration projects in different places and contexts, this paper explores the complexity of social learning associated with demonstration projects. Variety in expectations of the demonstration projects’ objectives, learning processes, information sharing mechanisms, public engagement initiatives, financing and collaborative partnerships are highlighted. The comparison shows that multiple factors including the process of building support for the project, the governance context and the framing of the project matter for the learning in demonstration projects. This analysis supports a broader conceptualization of learning than that currently found in CCS demonstration plans – a result with implications for both future research and practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Thanks to those who were interviewed for their time and the valuable information they provided. Thanks also to the MISTRA Foundation for supporting this international collaborative project and to the editors of this special addition, Karin Ba¨ckstrand, James Meadowcroft and Michael Oppenheimer for their feedback and suggestions that have greatly improved the quality of this paper. Appreciation is also given to the other researchers involved in this MISTRA project on CCS who through several workshops have also contributed to the development of this work. Earlier versions of this paperhave beenpresented at the 35thAnnualMeeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science and at the 10th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies, and we thank the audiences for their useful feedback. Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers for their insights and constructive critique.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carbon capture and storage, Technology demonstration, Social learning, Innovation
Author Affiliation: School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Grant Institute, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JW, UK
Subjects: Atmosperic Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2012 06:09
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2012 06:09
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