Integration of natural and social environment in the implementation of geothermal projects

Kasumi Yasukawa, Hiromi Kubota, Nobukazu Soma, Tetsuro Noda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Recent geoscientific, socio-technical, and sociological studies aimed at achieving social acceptance for geothermal development accommodating the natural and social environment are integrated in this paper. The geoscientific study presents the potential effects of geothermal development on the nearby hydraulic systems. Geochemical analysis of hot springs provides an effective means of investigating possible interference of the hot springs due to geothermal exploitation. The authors have proposed a socio-technical approach, Overall System Design, which is a concept aimed at maximizing business profitability and social acceptance. In this approach, the optimal solution may vary with the extent of project implementation because increasing data volume facilitates more accurate system design. Visualization of the benefits of geothermal development is an important part of this approach because it promotes mutual understanding among stakeholders. Stakeholder attitudes and needs are diverse hence from a sociological approach, project developers approach for social acceptance should differ depending on the situation for each geothermal prospect. Results of attitude surveys of local municipal governments as key stakeholders suggest that governments and developers should continue to provide information to improve social acceptance. In order to achieve social acceptance, explanation based on geoscientific facts and the concept of Overall System Design may be effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May


  • Environmental
  • Geochemistry
  • Hydraulic connection
  • Integrated assessment
  • Multi-objective-optimization
  • Overall system design (OSD)
  • Social acceptance
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Technical


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