Hydrogen energy social license: Designing and testing hydrogen messages to build social license.

February 12th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Social licence, Local communities, Communication and engagement

Lead Organisation:
Deakin University

Not applicable


Start date:
October 2020

Completion date:
May 2022

Key contacts:
Associate Professor Josh Newton – Department of Marketing, Deakin University j.newton@deakin.edu.au
Dr Jeff Rotman – Department of Marketing, Deakin University jeff.rotman@deakin.edu.au
Dr Gini Weber – Department of Marketing, Deakin University virginia.weber@deakin.edu.au
Ailiche Goddard-Clegg – Hycel, Deakin University a.goddardclegg@deakin.edu.au 

AUD$20,000 – Hycel Technology Hub via Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Project total cost:
AUD$20,000 cash contribution

Project summary description:
This project investigated regional community perceptions towards hydrogen and the efficacy of hydrogen messages in regional and urban contexts. The project resulted in a messaging ‘playbook’ aimed at assisting organisations, both nationally and internationally, to adopt effective, evidence-based communication strategies when seeking to build a social licence for hydrogen. The project involved the following activities and outputs: 

  • Identification of existing attitudes, perceptions, and concerns towards hydrogen within two Victorian communities in which Deakin’s Hycel is operating: Warrnambool and Portland. 
  • Design and testing of different messages aimed at developing a social licence for hydrogen applications using a nationally representative sample of Australian residents. 
  • Delivery of playbook of effective messaging for hydrogen, identifying the relative efficacy of different ways to communicate about hydrogen technologies. 
  • Delivery of a baseline data set to measure regional community sentiment towards hydrogen applications in south west Victoria.

The project examined public perceptions towards hydrogen and tested the efficacy of different messages designed to change those perceptions. The resulting findings were captured in a communications playbook to guide organisations seeking to develop a social licence for the use of hydrogen.  

Related publications and key links:
Deakin University Hycel site: https://www.deakin.edu.au/hycel/focus-areas

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


Reviewed: September 2023