Organisational aspects of public engagement in European energy infrastructure planning: the case of early-stage CCS projects

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Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of studies on public perceptions of carbon capture and storage (CCS), accompanied by efforts to translate such knowledge into toolkits for public engagement and communication. At the same time, both literature and toolkits have paid little attention to the organisational dynamics and views of project implementers with regard to public engagement. Here we investigate the views of project development consortia employees in five European CCS projects, focusing on their experience of organisational norms and structures relating to engagement. Finding that planning for this engagement has, in several cases, been hampered by a lack of shared internal vision on engagement and communication within the project consortia, at least initially, we draw upon the socio-technical approach to technology embedment and new institutional theory, to observe that internal organisational alignment is crucial in multi-organisational projects when seeking effective public engagement and communication. We observe that this aspect of internal organisation is not yet reflected in the toolkits and guidelines designed to aid engagement in CCS projects. Engagement guides need to direct the attention of project implementers not only in specific outward directions, but also towards reflexively considering their own internal structures, perspectives, motivations, expectations and aims in relation to engagement and communication practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)252-269
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2015
Externally publishedYes