Informing the Public about Low-Carbon Technologies
The following communication materials have been used to educate members of the general public about, and elicit their preferences for, low-carbon technologies and portfolios.
Build Your Own Power Plant Combination Tool
Below is a downloadable Excel-based interactive computer tool that allows users to “build their own power plant combination” to supply the additional capacity needed in Pennsylvania over the next 25 years, while assuming a congressionally-mandated carbon constraint. It is suggested that new users, at a minimum, read the Introduction to Climate Change and Electricity, the Problem Question, which provides a context for using the computer tool, and the User Guide. If you would like to learn more about each electricity technology included in the computer tool, please read the following information:
- One page descriptions for each of the 10 electricity technologies
- A comparison of their annual electricity generation and CO2 emissions
- A comparison of their health, land, water impacts
- A comparison of the cost of generating electricity using each technology
The tool is best viewed with a large computer screen, using Microsoft Excel 2007 or higher and using a PC computer. Please make sure to enable Macros in Excel before using the tool.
This tool is available without charge. However we do ask those who make use of it to please send us an account of how they have used it and any details they can share on their experience at one of the following email addresses – email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your interest.
Methodology in using the Build Your Own Power Plant Combination Tool
After recruiting participants, they are sent a “homework” packet through the mail. It includes the following:
- Introduction and Problem Question: Which are designed to motivate a ranking exercise of the ten electricity technologies
- Technology Information Sheets: Which are qualitative multi-attribute sheets explaining each of the ten electricity technologies
- Cost Comparison and Pollution Comparison: Which are two quantitative comparison sheets on each of the ten electricity technologies.
Participants are then asked to rank the technologies from best to worst. Upon arriving at a group workshop, participants are provided with the following:
- New Problem Question: Which introduces the concept of a low-carbon electricity portfolio
- Low-Carbon Portfolios: Provided with 7 predetermined Power Plant Combinations each set to the same carbon dioxide emissions limitation
- Cost Comparison for Combinations: Which contain a set of cost comparisons for each of the 7 Power Plant Combinations
- Pollution Comparison for Combinations: Which contain a set of pollution comparisons for each of the 7 Power Plant Combinations
After reviewing the items, participants are then asked to rank the portfolios from best to worst.After engaging in a group discussion to come to an agreement upon a group ranking of the portfolios, participants are asked to provide revised individual rankings of the technologies and portfolios.
More detailed information and results for this study can be found in the following publication: Fleishman, L.A., Bruine de Bruin, W., and M.G. Morgan (2010). Informed Public Preferences for Electricity Portfolios with CCS and Other Low-Carbon Technologies. Risk Analysis, in press.