Social License to Operate in Geothermal Energy

Amel Barich, Alicja W. Stokłosa, Jan Hildebrand, Ottó Elíasson, Tamás Medgyes, Gauthier Quinonez, Ana C. Casillas, Isabel Fernandez
2021 Energies  
Geothermal energy is a resource that has the potential for development in many countries around the world. Despite its versatility and economic viability, this resource faces numerous obstacles that hinder its deployment and capacity for achieving a similar market share as other renewable and clean energy sources. Both technical and non-technical barriers can be highly detrimental to the implementation of geothermal projects. A social license to operate (SLO) is a tool that can help the
more » ... nt of geothermal energy. As a new concept, SLO is little developed in the business literature but is still being adopted in many industries. Its main challenges reside in its context-dependence and the lack of clear frameworks to utilize it. This paper introduces, in a first known attempt, through a qualitative approach, a conceptual model of the social license to operate in the geothermal energy sector. For its development, three case studies, working group discussion and surveying were conducted in the framework of the H2020 funded CROWDTHERMAL project, which aims to empower EU citizens for direct participation in geothermal projects through crowdfunding. Findings of this paper also drew on existing general conceptual models of the SLO, and experiences from other sectors that have developed their own SLO models. The paper contributes to a more contextualized understanding of the social license within the geothermal sector and sheds the light on practices and challenges that influence the acquisition and maintenance of SLO in geothermal energy projects and initiatives.
doi:10.3390/en15010139 fatcat:fz2l5uqgpzbdbfe7l6j5jacu2e