World-class training for the modern energy industry

Challenges for the Social and Economic Impact Assessment of GeoEnergy Transition Projects (E539)

  • TypeType: Classroom, Virtual
  • TypeDiscipline: GeoEnergy Transition, Socio-economic
  • TypeDuration: 3.5 hrs; 2pm-5.30pm UTC


Eddie Smyth: Director, Intersocial Ltd

Alistair Donohew: Director, Kovia Consulting Ltd


Geoenergy projects typically create social, environmental and economic effects, which can range from job creation to the resettlement of communities. Ideally all potential effects are considered during the siting and development of projects to optimize the overall impact. However, the way that projects are assessed can vary and this training will provide a comparative review of international and UK methodology and practice.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. The course is aimed at post-graduate geoscientists, as well as regulators, consultants and developers. Impact assessment practitioners will also find the course instructive.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A half-day course comprising a mix of lectures, case studies and exercises. The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: One 3.5-hour interactive online session (morning in North America and afternoon in Europe). Digital course notes and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course. Some exercises may be completed by participants off-line and there will be links provided to useful additional and applied learning.


You will learn to:

  1. Understand the physical, social, environmental and economic context of geoenergy projects.
  2. Understand the range of impacts of geoenergy projects and how they can be interrelated and how different groups and receptors can be affected by them.
  3. Explain impact assessment methodologies and how they can shape geoenergy project development and delivery.
  4. Describe the range of impact assessment practices at UK and international level.
  5. Explain clear challenges for geoenergy projects, as well as for those assessing them.

Course Content

The session will illustrate project development from the point at which geoscientists have identified value at a location and how this translates to wider social, economic and interrelated environmental effects. The tutors will describe their experiences and set out key challenges for the impact assessment of geoenergy projects, providing valuable context to those who may work to develop or assess them. Clear strong links will be made between geoenergy resource development and real-world examples, giving attendees a sound understanding of the context to GeoEnergy Transition projects. The session will include some tasks that relate to the practical application of knowledge, and formative assessment will be used throughout to allow participants to reflect and manage their learning.

Prior knowledge review

  • Key concepts


  • Impacts and assessment
  • UK practice and case studies
  • International practice and case studies
  • Gaps, solutions and challenges

Plenary / application of knowledge exercise

  • Impact assessment of a new resource

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