Deliberation over new hydrogen energy technologies: Evidence from two citizens’ panels in the UK

Flynn, R., Ricci, M. and Bellaby, P. (2013) Deliberation over new hydrogen energy technologies: Evidence from two citizens’ panels in the UK. Journal of Risk Research, 16 (3-4). pp. 379-391. ISSN 1366-9877 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/18746

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2012.743160

Abstract/Description

Hydrogen energy and hydrogen energy technologies are still largely at the experimental and demonstration project stages. If the hydrogen is produced sustainably from renewable sources, it may be a potential means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and achieving other environmental objectives. But hydrogen technologies are still ‘emergent’ – seeking a niche to compete against incumbent technologies in stationary and mobile applications. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (buses and automobiles) and hydrogen refuelling stations have been developed, but they have yet to become established in the market. Much attention has been given to technical risk assessment of hydrogen as a hazardous gas, but broader ‘whole systems’ appraisals of a hydrogen infrastructure (for domestic and transport uses) are lacking. Importantly, public risk perceptions are seen as crucial factors influencing acceptance or rejection. This paper examines qualitative evidence about public attitudes towards hydrogen energy technologies and compares results from two Citizens’ Panels carried out recently in England and Wales. These Citizens’ Panels enabled selected samples of the general public to question the experts and deliberate over the issues raised. The paper highlights unresolved questions concerning ‘critical trust’ of experts and other stakeholders, and citizens’ demands for greater familiarity with the hydrogen technologies in practical, everyday settings, in order to offer judgements about their desirability and feasibility.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Published online: 15 Jan 2013
Uncontrolled Keywords:deliberation, new technologies, hydrogen, citizen panel
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Geography and Environmental Management
ID Code:18746
Deposited By: Dr M. Ricci
Deposited On:28 Jan 2013 16:19
Last Modified:20 Sep 2016 02:05

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