Lay perceptions of carbon capture and storage technology

The extent of social acceptance of carbon capture and storage (CCS) is likely to significantly influence the sustainable development of CO2 storage projects. Acceptance of CCS by the key stakeholders (policy makers, the general public, the media and the local community), linked to specific projects, as well as how the technology is communicated about and perceived by the public, have become matters of interest for the social sciences. This article reports on an investigation of the public perception of CCS technology in Spain. Individuals’ views on CCS are analysed through focus groups with lay citizens using “stimulus materials”. As the analysis shows, lay views of CCS differ significantly from the views of decision-makers and experts. Public concerns and reactions to CCS technology and potential projects, as well as the degree of consensus on its acceptance or rejection are detailed. Implications for the future use of CCS are discussed.