What do communities think about Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS)? How can their perceptions be included in policy around CCUS? How does Groningen differ from other European locations when it comes to underground storage of CO2 or conversion of CO2 into useful products? Supported by the Public Participation Center, these questions are being investigated during the ConsenCUS community events in Groningen.
Within the ConsenCUS project, a team led by Prof Zoe Morrison at Robert Gordon University of Aberdeen (RGU) is conducting a qualitative evaluation of CCUS by organising an array of community events in the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK, Greece and Romania. The goal is twofold. One is to understand the awareness, concerns and needs of community members concerning the project’s industrial innovations and CCUS development more generally. The other goal is to draw from the insights and knowledge of community members to better understand what social, economic, and environmental benefits, risks and impacts CCUS can have.
These goals are well aligned with the interests of experts from the Public Participation Center. This is why New Energy Coalition has connected Public Participation Center experts Leah Henderson, Philippe Hanna and Wiebo Lamain with the researchers from RGU to facilitate the ConsenCUS community events in Groningen. Together, the researchers are organising, moderating, and studying the results of the events to pursue mutual scientific goals on public participation.
The ConsenCUS community events will provide a qualitative evaluation to understand the perspectives from a range of different communities and social groups by using interviews, group discussions, workshops, ethnography and documentary analysis. To learn from and understand different communities’ perspectives about CCUS, RGU will use a conversation game called PlayDecide. The game is useful when introducing and discussing complex issues and technologies with groups of people who do not have in-depth technical information about a topic. It has been developed and supported by Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, and you can find more information about it at this link https://playdecide.eu/about
Within the ConsenCUS project, the game will be played with a variety of community groups in Northwest and Southeast Europe. The finished game will be open-sourced and will be uploaded to the PlayDecide website so that other community groups can play it and start exploring what CCUS will mean for their communities.
In June 2023, several 2-hour long conversation game sessions will take place in Groningen. Here, different communities from the province of Groningen will be able to learn about CCUS and give their view on the technologies. The conversation game aims to involve a wide variety of people with different backgrounds to gain a diverse set of insights and perspectives. Playing the PlayDecide game will be the first phase of the community events in Groningen, where the second phase will involve a more in-depth set of workshop sessions.
The community events are being organized and moderated by researchers Jacob Nielsen from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Leah Henderson and Philippe Hanna from University of Groningen, Wiebo Lamain and Sarah Elbert from Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and project manager Thomas Nielsen from New Energy Coalition.