What We Talk About When We Talk About CCUS: New Tactics for Communicating the Opportunities and Risks

Conference Dates

May 22-26, 2017


The discourse around CCUS is changing. What was once a conversation among a small community of technical experts has expanded greatly to encompass policy makers, business, entrepreneurs, and the general public. What does this change in discourse mean for the future of CCUS? Here we present the ways in which the discussion, presentation, and public understanding of CCUS by these broad audiences can have dramatic and powerful implications for the development, deployment, and ultimate impact of CCUS solutions. One driver of this change in discourse is the ongoing broadening of the scope of technology conversations among experts: CCS-only conversations from a decade ago now often include direct CO2 conversion, CO2 utilization, soil carbon, air capture, and other schemes. Another driver is the change in audience. The challenges of climate change, carbon management, and energy transitions are no longer viewed as the sole purview of engineers and scientists. And among some publics, anxiety and appetite for news about energy and climate are at an all-time high, albeit still quite low on an absolute basis). This talk will explore specific examples of CCUS communications projects, their relative effectiveness, and their prospects for ultimately driving development and deployment of CCUS solutions. The presentation will include an update on the ongoing NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, and $20 million global incentive competition to incentivize CO2 conversation breakthrough demonstrations. The presentation will focus on both traditional and novel communication efforts driven XPRIZE, as well as by other examples from parallel initiatives in Europe, North America, and Asia.

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