Accepted Paper:

CO2 capture, transport and storage: an industrial coalition working on the idea of "technology demonstration" for reducing CO2 emissions from industries  


Rebeca Neri O'Neill (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)

Paper short abstract:

When ethnographic observations help us to understand and make tangible a technological policy. Investigating the way in which actors are working on the need of standardizing technology demonstration: a study conducted among a European Technology Platform.

Paper long abstract:

This paper concerns the very specific way in which CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS), has evolved towards the development of a large-scale technological demonstration. This orientation, fuelled by political actors and industry, aims to bring about a solution to the problem of CO2 emissions from industries such as fossil fuel power plants or the steel industry. Recently, the European Union adopts new standards to ensure the safety of CO2 storage and decided to target massive investments on demonstration projects. I'm interested in exploring the question of how actors attempt to guide the development of this controversial technology?

I study an association working on arguments and actions that support regulatory and political tools on CCS. I propose results from a qualitative survey of the technology platform called ZEP - The European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants - established in 2005. We rely on qualitative techniques: interviews and ethnographic observations of meetings of ZEP. We'll try to understand the trajectory and how they develop a "political vision of CCS". The deeper purpose is to extend the interpretation and provide a pragmatic analysis of lobbying practices. I try to propose an approach capable of linking, symmetrically, political practices noted at European, national and local levels. In so doing, we can understand how the technology standards are developed (European) and at the same time how political debates and conflicts (national and local) are also involved in the creation of counter-standards.

Panel IW002
Standards and the quest for technocratic certainty