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Communication concept for geothermal project developers in Germany

Snapshot of Communication Guide for Geothermal Developers (source: BINE)
Alexander Richter 26 Jan 2017

A new guide has been released in Germany late last year, providing a communication concept for geothermal project developers to help improve public engagement in planning and operation of geothermal plants through active and early dialogue.

In a new document released, a communication concept is provided for geothermal project developers, to help improve public engagement in the planning and operation of plants through active and early dialogue. In Germany “deep geothermal” is referred to meaning geothermal projects utilising geothermal reservoirs and thereby differentiate from geothermal heat pumps (shallow geothermal).  While focused on development and developers in Germany, the guide is probably very useful in other countries as well. The link to the guide can be found below.

Technical innovations can only be successful if they are supported by the general public. Early, comprehensive and transparent communication with the public is also indispensable for planning, constructing and operating plants for utilising renewable energies. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled “Communication concept for deep geothermal energy” (17/2016) presents successful public relations theory and practice for geothermal energy plants. It provides operators and participating companies with numerous practical ideas and suggestions.

Deep geothermal energy is a renewable energy source whose utilisation has been advocated by almost 90% of the population in a survey. However, the survey also revealed that details of this energy technology are not well known. Often the general public lack information about the opportunities and risks. Therefore, the concept emphasises the importance of systematically informing the public. All relevant information and expert appraisals should be accessible to the public right from the beginning of the planning. These form the basis for the dialogue. In order to support the predominantly small companies in this sector, communication experts, social scientists, engineers and industry representatives have also developed an app in the TIGER research project. For practical support, this provides a toolbox with recommendations and templates for public relations work. In addition, the app with the TIGER game provides a playful approach to the topic.

The scientists developed the concept as an example for geothermal energy. The instruments can also be applied to other technologies such as wind farms or planning procedures for new overhead transmission lines. CBM Gesellschaft für Consulting, Business und Management mbh from Bexbach (Germany) has developed the concept in collaboration with partners from science and industry.

Documents:

Source: BINE