Public perceptions of hydrogen are currently only guessed at by the research and industry community. As a result, we have no idea about how communities and individuals would respond to the prospect of a 100% hydrogen conversion, which could change the look and feel of daily core practices e.g. cooking and heating.
The need to understand public perceptions, including what barriers may exist and the perceived possible risks to safety, is vital as these perceptions could affect the role hydrogen has to play in the future energy system as well as how it can be integrated into everyday activities.
As part of the H21 NIC project a programme of social science research is being undertaken by Leeds Beckett University, on behalf of the H21 team. This research will ensure that some of the issues regarding perceptions of hydrogen are confronted and new knowledge generated. The research aims are as follows:
• Research Aim One – Generate insight into baseline public perceptions of the safety of hydrogen and other energy technologies/vectors including how they vary by a range of socio-demographic and geographic variables.
• Research Aim Two – Generate insight into how people respond to the possibility of using 100% hydrogen in the three-key, gas-fuelled social practices (heating, cooking, travelling), including how they vary by a range of socio-demographic and geographic variables.
• Research Aim Three – Understand how public perception of the safety of hydrogen evolves across the range of socio-demographic and geographic variables when considering the H21 NIC evidence.
• Research Aim Four – Build a hydrogen research network of social scientists across the UK who may then become involved in the delivery of the proposed research activity or who may play advisory roles in the development of a body of research, data and expertise around the opportunities and challenges of hydrogen.