RP2.1-02 A social license and acceptance of future fuels

Executive Summary

This project aims to identify the key requirements for a social licence to operate facilitating the adoption of low-carbon fuels by industry users and the community. The main research objectives include developing an understanding of various stakeholder attitudes towards future fuels and monitoring changes in attitudes of those stakeholders via longitudinal, deliberative and other research methods and processes.

Key project deliverables include social research reports on stakeholder attitudes and trustworthy information tools which project proponents and policy makers can use to assist in the safe introduction and use of future fuels.

In August 2021 the Future Fuels CRC released the results of its first national public survey of over three thousand Australians on public attitudes towards hydrogen conducted between 29th January and 20th February 2021:

Download full survey report

This survey found widespread public support for producing and using hydrogen both in Australia and for export, including the following key findings:

  • 65% already support using hydrogen as a fuel, with 32% undecided. After finding out more about hydrogen this rose to 90% support with 7% undecided and only 3% opposed;
  • Support for hydrogen was broad-based with similar results across all States and main political party affiliations, with no significant differences, showing broad bi-partisan support; and
  • Awareness about hydrogen is growing, with 40% of respondents having already heard about hydrogen in the media, 27% had heard about hydrogen production projects in Australia, and 21% about blending natural gas and hydrogen for domestic use.
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Commencement / End Date August 2019 to May 2023
Outcomes / Impact

The research results produced to-date support the activities happening now in every State to develop Australia’s hydrogen industry. Current and ongoing work will further clarify social licence requirements as well as the information needs, concerns and views of key stakeholders (e.g. affected local communities, trades and associated workers and emergency service workers and the broader public). These research outputs can inform the creation of a wide range of information and communication materials.

The research from this work package should also be helpful to inform the other Research Programs of relevant societal issues and perceived benefits that an emerging hydrogen economy can bring.

Partners University of Queensland, Jemena, AGIG, GPA Engineering, GAMAA, SA Gov
Research Contact

Dr Stephen McGrail

Research and Education Program Coordinator