Linking the technical work to the perspective of the local population
Coordination of the research development with local communities is one of the key features of the ENOS project. This is an innovative concept and is meant to support the management of highly complex technological innovation. When technicians develop industrial scale technologies, without involving social stakeholders, a gap is often created between how a technology is seen by professionals and by the public. This can lead to technologies that are not fully satisfactory from a social point of view. Creating opportunities for civil society, to provide input directly during the research process, can help researchers to better address public wishes and concerns.
Whereas collaborative science and society research processes are not new in other sectors, this approach is just starting for CCS. In addition, these studies usually involve technical stakeholders or civil society organisations, rather than the local population who live near existing or potential storage sites, despite the fact that these are the stakeholders most affected by technical choices made by scientists and operators.
ENOS will therefore prioritise local residents, working with them to understand how social needs and concerns can be included and integrated in the research process. Time will be dedicated to explore the different aspects of the technology and to discuss topics that are of direct interest to the population. Participants will have the opportunity to gain insight into the research process, to understand the different facets of the problems the project is addressing, to pose questions and reflect, together with researchers, on what are the best solutions and practices for the development of CO2 storage sites.
The work will be conducted with the local communities in four countries: in Italy, in the Sulcis area, where studies for geological characterisation have been on-going for some years, to build up knowledge for a prospective pilot site; in Spain, where an advanced pilot site is operating at Hontomin; in The Netherlands, where no specific project is planned, but interesting benefits could come from associating CO2 storage with CO2 use; and in the United Kingdom, at the Geoenergy Test Bed, Sutton Bonington.