Public Attitudes to Hydrogen Energy: Evidence from Six Case Studies in the UK
The transition to a hydrogen economy will require a major transformation in technological systems, energy infrastructures, regulatory frameworks, and the overall development of appropriate energy and environmental policy. It also presumes the widespread acceptance and use of hydrogen technologies by members of the public. As discussed in the previous chapter, hydrogen is currently an industrial commodity, not a consumer fuel like petrol, or an ordinary energy vector like electricity. Expert knowledge of its characteristics as an energy carrier is still developing and many people are largely unaware of the distinctive properties of hydrogen and its prospective power applications. An increasing number of hydrogen demonstration projects around the world will certainly help bring hydrogen closer to the public, but so far there have been few signs of genuine, more participatory forms of public ‘engagement’ with hydrogen technologies and the potentially radical impact these may have on both the global energy order and people’s daily lives.