Responsible decision-making on gas: How individual and institutional factors influence public evaluations of gas.


The use and production of gas is causing controversies, as reflected in debates about the earthquakes in Groningen, production activities at vulnerable locations, shale gas, imports from Russia, and its fossil nature. At the same time, it is advocated that gas can play an important role in the sustainable energy transition, for instance through innovations such as green gas and power-to-gas. It is a societal and ethical challenge to determine what role, if any, gas can play in the (future) energy system. For that, it is crucial to understand how the public, authorities and other stakeholders evaluate gas, what causes concerns about gas, and how to adequately address and weigh these concerns in responsible decision-making. We will study how individual factors (such as values, moral considerations) and institutional factors (such as governance structures, participation) influence public evaluations of gas. We will analyse key industry and governmental stakeholders’ views on gas, and how these views influence (intentionally or not) public evaluations. The proposed project is innovative for taking an interdisciplinary perspective, combining psychology, political science, science technology studies, institutional economics, and ethics. We will use a mixed methods approach drawing upon these disciplines to analyse changes in public and stakeholder evaluations of gas over time. We will establish a longitudinal panel to monitor and explain these changes. With our research we aim to advance responsible decision-making on gas.


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. E.M. Steg

Affiliated with

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Team members

I Maltagliati MSc, T Rodhouse MSc


16/06/2017 to 28/02/2021