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Journal Articles Geothermal Energy Year : 2018

Social shaping of deep geothermal projects in Alsace: politics, stakeholder attitudes and local democracy

Abstract

This paper examines the social, cultural and political factors that favor or disrupt deep geothermal energy projects in Alsace. The research was conducted in the Risk Governance package of the H2020 DESTRESS program, aimed at comparing public perceptions of deep geothermal energy in different contexts. The French case studies focus on two different contexts: one in Northern Alsace, where geothermal energy is fairly well accepted, and another in the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg, where some projects have raised substantial controversy. Several conceptual tools are used to understand variations in the public perceptions of geothermal projects. First, the distinction between “locally anchored” projects and “unbound” or exogenous projects account for the way these projects take shape, based on dialog or facilitated by a favorable economic and national political context, ignoring local specificities. Second, the concepts of social identity and social worlds allow us to yield insights into the acceptability of a project on a more sociological and cultural level, instead of adopting a limited risk perception focus. By considering the social and cultural contexts, we can better explain the weight that opponents place in their discourses on induced risks, local politics, or environmental issues during a technoscientific controversy. This ultimately leads us to underline the limitations of the communication models for project governance that are chiefly aimed at reassuring the local population.
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hal-01931776 , version 1 (18-06-2024)

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Philippe Chavot, Christine Heimlich, Anne Masseran, Yeny Serrano, Jean Zoungrana, et al.. Social shaping of deep geothermal projects in Alsace: politics, stakeholder attitudes and local democracy. Geothermal Energy, 2018, 6 (26), pp.[En ligne]. ⟨10.1186/s40517-018-0111-6⟩. ⟨hal-01931776⟩
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