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Elizabeth A. Eide Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources National Research Council Penrose Conference, October 2013 Educating and engaging the.

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Presentation on theme: "Elizabeth A. Eide Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources National Research Council Penrose Conference, October 2013 Educating and engaging the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elizabeth A. Eide Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources National Research Council Penrose Conference, October 2013 Educating and engaging the public and policy makers Countering the fear of the unknown in new energy development projects: Educating and engaging the public and policy makers

2 “…To meet emissions goals, the U.K. is reluctantly turning to fracking for shale gas…the country appears to have few other options…” MIT Technology Review, 09/10/13 “Fracking friends and foes await decision on George Washington National Forest…” WAMU 88.5 podcast, 9/3/13 “Fracking fuels water fights in nation’s dry spots…” Farm and Ranch Weekly, 6/19/13 “Proposed fracking rules anger environmentalists, annoy industry…” National Journal Daily, 5/17/13 “The new boom: Shale gas fueling an American industrial revival…” Washington Post, 11/14/12 “4.4 earthquake hits the Geysers…” NBC Bay Area, 2/12/12 “Fracking led to 109 earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio, study finds…” UPI.com, 8/19/13 “North Dakota saves for future with today’s oil riches…” Shale Gas Reporter, 9/26/13

3 Main themes Who, Who, What: What: Why: Why: How: Public and policy makers (and the power of perception) Energy research and development projects should be concerned Changing perception through education and engagement

4 Who & What Public and policy makers’ perceptions of and concerns about energy development projects: - Costs: - Changes to environment: - Hazards and risks for people, property: - Impacts on energy portfolio: Source: E. Eide Consumers & funders Always local, sometimes global Always local, sometimes global Real? Perceived? Real? Perceived? Use, access, convenience Use, access, convenience

5 Costs—national and personal Changes to environment Hazards and risks—damage to public H&S, infrastructure Impacts on energy use—use, access, convenience Aesthetics, noise, air quality, traffic, landscapes, water quality/quantity, jobs, global climate How much to fund the R&D? What’s the ROI? How much will it save me? Induced seismicity Water concerns Where does this technology fit in the U.S. portfolio pie? What

6 Why Costs - Solar energy example: California #1 in total installed capacity and MW capacity; New Jersey #3 in total installed and #2 in MW capacity - Why: Solar Renewable Energy Credits, Renewable Portfolio Standard, federal stimulus funds - The Solyndra lessons: cheap solar cells from China, cyclicity and necessity of govt subsidies, cheap natural gas

7 Why Changes to environment - Temporary issues: During initial development (well pads, infrastructure)—associated noise, traffic, new roads - Persistent issues during field lifetime (+ and -): Air quality, noise, water use, traffic, new jobs, etc. - Permanent issues: Legacy, reclamation, bonding gallery/historic_mom/pages/photo_01.aspx Courtesy of Long Beach Public Library Collection (http://www.lbpl.org/) gallery/drilling_rigs/pages/photo_01.aspx Source: California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources Photo credit: J. Jepson

8 Why Hazards and risks: Induced seismicity - Flooding examples: Cedar Rapids, IA: 100-yr flood, 1993 & 500-yr flood, 2008; Colorado, 1000-yr rainfall, Hazard & risk—described and quantified: Hazard— physical effects that could be generated; risk—losses or damage that could occur to humans or structures - Public does not understand risk: Risk communication and risk management are critical SOURCE: Steve Zumwalt/FEMA b2db f81-f6abc3de5664/67949.jpg

9 Why Impacts on energy use: what’s in it for me? - Geothermal is undersold: It is compared to other renewables but is a baseload resource like fossil fuels - Needs a common language: Translate 5-10 GWe growth to how many towns/cities’ lights will stay on - Discuss short-term R&D goals as part of the long-term picture: Address legacy issues before they exist; how can geothermal help folks in high-population areas h/NIGHTLIGHTS.html Source: Courtesy of DMSP and NASA

10 How Changing perception—education & engagement - Lessons from the Geysers: Collaboration, information exchange, transparency among operators, researchers, government agencies, public - Address immediate, persistent, long-term environment - Best-practice protocols, including hazard/risk assessment: Active collaboration among the same groups - Continued research & monitoring: Lab, field, modeling Source: E. Eide

11 - Geothermal is undersold—be realistic, not pessimistic - Combine science with organized program of education and engagement - Hazards and risks, environmental concerns—stay in front, think long term - In periods with tightened funding, leverage resources through collaborations - Work to find incentives that will encourage geothermal growth/use as a long-term prospect Key issues

12 ?record_id= ?record_id=13355 Induced seismicity YouTube video based on report: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Uuh9lHavdvc Resources

13 Points for discussion— From Ladsi and Elizabeth - What have been the state, federal, industry, research experiences in the room in communicating with the public about geothermal energy? Successes? Challenges? - What are some of the key partnerships that have generated successful public engagement? - What information (and in what form) is most needed for public acceptance and education?


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