The recognition that interdisciplinary approaches must be integrated in any planning that concerns science and technology has shifted from theoretical perspectives to practical implementation. The once distant worlds of Engineering and Social Sciences must cross their boundaries if they are to contribute to the transition toward a carbon-neutral energy supply. The objective of this chapter is to explicitly state the connection of the social dimension with engineering applications (such as the OTEC technology) by developing basic elements of social analysis and explaining the conceptual and practical framework of instruments and practices like the social impact assessment. The chapter will mention the holistic perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the general debate of integrating the social sciences and humanities in environmental change research.
Part of the book: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)