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Negotiating contested visions and place-specific expectations of the hydrogen economy

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This paper explores the role of the ‘hydrogen economy' as a guiding vision encompassing multiple contested technological futures, value judgements and problem framings. Hydrogen visions draw upon six overarching and competing narrative themes: power and independence; community empowerment and democratisation; ecotopia; hydrogen as technical fix; inevitability and technical progress; and ‘staying in the race'. In other words the hydrogen economy possesses great interpretive flexibility. This, it is argued, is the key to hydrogen's rhetorical power, allowing it to become a space in which divergent interests and agendas are promoted. Turning to issues of scale and place, the case of London is used to document the dynamics of expectations: how the open flexible guiding vision of a hydrogen economy must inevitably be re-invented and grounded in local agendas and contexts if its promise is to become realised.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: BRESE, Brunel University, London, UK 2: Policy Studies Institute, London, UK 3: SURF Centre, University of Salford, UK

Publication date: 01 July 2006

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