University of Plymouth research



Plymouth University are studying the issues relating to public perception of geothermal energy exploitation, which is an important element in gaining a ‘social licence’ to operate in Cornwall. The research focuses on two specific areas; the psychological and social factors that influence public opinion, and the influence of the media, particularly digital and social media.


It looks at risk perception and connectedness to nature with specific reference to the subsurface and examines how people’s understanding and knowledge is developed and influenced.

There are three main areas of research for the project:



  • Psychology - trying to understand how people picture the geological subsurface, and what emotions people feel about a geothermal power project.


  • Sociology - investigating the impact of the media on communications about geothermal, and using state-of-the art software to assess how people access and interpret any new media information.


  • Communications - looking at how to improve communications between companies interested in this new technology and the residents that will live near potential geothermal sites.



Visit their project website here:

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Falmouth Business Park

Bickland Water Road




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