Articoli tecnici - scientifici

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ACCETTABILITA' SOCIALE

Geothermal energy and the public: A case study on deliberative citizens' engagement in central Italy

Anna Pellizzone, Agnes Allansdottir, Roberto De Franco, Giovanni Muttoni, Adele Manzella
Energy Policy
Volume 101, February 2017, Pages 561-570

Abstract

This paper reports on a case study on the citizens' engagement with developments towards the harnessing of geothermal energy in central Italy. The research has been conducted within the framework of a larger project on the feasibility of further geothermal developments in Italy, funded by the Italian government. The aims of the case study research were first to explore the role of public and stakeholder engagement in the processes of innovation in the geothermal energy sector. Second, to design, implement and consolidate a methodological framework for comparative analysis of case studies on citizens' engagement, thus bringing a social scientific perspective into geothermal energy research. The results show general support for renewable energy but knowledge and understanding of the potential of geothermal is remarkably low. Lack of trust in politics and unsure public communication emerged as prominent themes where the common good and community developments are sharply contrasted with corporate and private interests. As geothermal energy is included and encouraged under the European Strategic Energy Plan and in the Paris agreement on halting climate change, the results can make significant input into future policy making, by providing concrete guidelines on citizens' engagement in processes of culturally sustainable innovation.


Keywords: Geothermal energy; Public engagement; Social acceptance; Common goods; Trust; Italy

Exploring public engagement with geothermal energy in southern Italy: A case study

Anna Pellizzone, Agnes Allansdottir, Roberto De Franco, Giovanni Muttoni, Adele Manzella
Energy Policy
Volume 85, October 2015, Pages 1-11

Abstract

This paper presents the results of an assessment of public views on eventual geothermal energy development in Sicily. The research was carried out under a much wider research project, VIGOR, with the aim to explore the feasibility of geothermal energy utilization in southern Italy. This study has two primary objectives: (1) to explore the views and opinions of local communities regarding the potential of geothermal energy applications; (2) to contribute to the growing literature on public engagement with energy issues. In order to explore public views towards geothermal technologies, we conducted a case study using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Although Italy has enormous geological potential for geothermal energy production, levels of knowledge of this energy source amongst the public are low. The results indicate that the issue is shrouded in uncertainty and that the Sicilian public expresses a diffused lack of trust in decision-making processes. Taken together, these factors are likely to strongly impact eventual further developments in this sector. The results clearly show the need for further societal dialogue supported by a sound communication action strategy as the first stage in a public participation.


Keywords: Geothermal energy; Renewable energy; Public engagement; Social acceptance; Trust; Italy