Responding to growing international political interest in the potential of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to contribute to climate change mitigation, multiple CCS demonstration projects of various scales are emerging globally. A fully integrated power-plant with CCS has not yet been demonstrated at scale, and acknowledgement of the scale of learning that still must occur for the technology to advance toward deployment has resulted in calls from multiple constituents for more CCS demonstration projects. Among these demonstration projects, expectations for learning and knowledge-sharing structures vary considerably and attention to different approaches to facilitate learning has been minimal. Through a comparison of the structure, framing and socio-political context of three different CCS demonstration projects, this paper explores the complexity of social learning associated with demonstration projects. Variety in expectations of the demonstration projects' objectives, learning processes, information sharing mechanisms, public engagement initiatives, financing and collaborative partnerships are highlighted. The comparison shows that multiple factors influence the learning in CCS demonstration projects, including the process of building support for the project, the governance context and the framing of the project justification. This comparative analysis highlights the importance of integrating careful consideration of framing and social learning into CCS demonstration project planning.
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