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GCCUSI Public Outreach Research Project

The Global carbon capture, utilization and storage Institute (GCCUSI) funded a research project in 2009 to compare public outreach practices associated with large-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects. PNNL was one partner organization that conducted this research, under the leadership of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia. Other partners included the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), the University of Illinois, and AJW, Inc. The research team's objective was to develop best practice guidelines for CCUS developers by studying the past and present communication and public outreach activities of five separate CCUS projects. This was a seminal effort in that the team collaborated from diverse regions of the world and used the same framework to analyze communication and public outreach activities so that meaningful comparisons could be made.

In 2010, a report titled Communication, Project Planning and Management for carbon capture, utilization and storage Projects: An International Comparison was released to the public via the CSIRO and GCCUSI websites. It summarized lessons learned across five projects and established evaluative factors against which each of the projects' communication and outreach activities are assessed:

Communications and Engagement Toolkit Top Ten Tips

  • Know your local demographics, attitudes.
  • Understand the project impacts on community members.
  • Explore local knowledge and attitudes toward climate change, CCUS, and other energy technologies.
  • Form an independent steering group to oversee communications and engagement.
  • Elect a Community Liaison Officer to whom public concerns can be directed.
  • Establish a Citizen Task Force/Advisory Board to promote community-wide understanding, ongoing communication, and working relationships as the project evolves.
  • Identify stakeholders and assess their levels of interest/engagement.
  • Establish a Communications and Engagement Plan.
  • Develop a project timeline to highlight CCUS process steps/milestones.
  • Educate.

PNNL participated in workshops held in Tokyo, Japan, and Washington D.C. to present the findings from the research and to solicit comments from others in the field. A toolkit on CCUS communication/engagement strategies for individuals actively involved in CCUS project development and/or implementation was presented at the latter workshop to solicit feedback from participants.

In 2012, the international team published an article about this work in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Technology Control, "What's in store: lessons from implementing CCUS" (Volume 9, July 2012, pages 402-409 ).

Geological Carbon Storage Research at PNNL

Energy and Environment Directorate