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Synergy in energy : participation in spatial energy transition projects within the Dutch region of Twente

Wildt, N.P. van der (2019) Synergy in energy : participation in spatial energy transition projects within the Dutch region of Twente.

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Abstract:In this research, multiple motivations led to the main aim. In the first place, the consultancy firm annex contractor Roelofs wanted to investigate whether they were able to get involved sooner in spatial development projects. In the meantime, the energy transition in the Netherlands needs a boost by taking larger measures, e.g. implementation as a function in spatial development. These motivations can be combined, as both require an insight in the social layer of the project process. Thus, the main aim is to provide insight in this layer of the process and to set up a strategy to achieved the desired results in (spatial) energy transition projects in the region of Twente until the year 2023. To get the answer to this research issue, literature studies, interviews and surveys are conducted to identify trends in and perceptions of stakeholders upon the energy transition, stakes and instruments of the stakeholders in the projects. Based on the collected data, a conceptual participation strategy is set up. Several conclusions can be drawn from this research. Firstly, when it comes to the trends of the energy transition, it is noticeable that the transition has still problems with getting rid of the current reigning paradigm; financial situations of stakeholders and guaranteed returns are important factors for stakeholders, and the current situation of the socio-technical landscape does not provide substantial support for long-term result projects. To let the transition accelerate, it is important to open the energy transition up to the broad public, which will eventually lead to the formation of collective initiatives. One could also look at broadening the public by means of combining multiple functions of space and dealing with the energy transition in an integral way. This may result in a more complex assignment because of the bigger variety of stakes. However, when executed correctly, this type of project – the energy transition as one of multiple functions of space – may result in an increase in support of the overall energy transition. As the spatial vision is in that case quite vague, the option of involving consultancy firms – including Roelofs – sooner in this type of projects becomes plausible, as it is estimated that they are able to provide insight in the possibilities of combinations of functions. From the stakeholder analysis, it can be concluded that all interviewed stakeholders see possibilities in the implementation of the energy transition as a function of a spatial development. So does the public, based on a small convenience sample. However, there are a few attention points that need to be taken into account. This includes the lack of variety in alternatives (mainly due to keeping the guarantee of returns for investors), imbalance of instruments and the currently missing transparency in the overall energy transition process. Also, the current resistance should be counteracted by the mobilisation of the younger generation, who are the ones who will be affected the most by the causes of the greenhouse effect and continuing the depletion of fossil fuels. After setting up the strategy, it can be noticed that the consultancy firms have got an earlier position of involvement in the project compared to regular spatial development projects. Therefore, consultancy firms may also be involved sooner in the project. However, it should be noted that the authorities are the ones who need to facilitate and direct the energy transition and its initiatives. This also means that the local authorities decide whether they want to use this participation strategy or not. Therefore, consultancy firm are recommended to keep networking with authorities and showing this strategy as a sign of knowledge-based power. It is also recommended to conduct further research on the perceptions, desires, stakes and instruments of the public and other stakeholders that are not interviewed. In addition, a theoretic case project should be set up to test the exact fitting of the set up participation strategy. Finally, it is also recommended to test the validity of the participation strategy with the characteristics of another consultancy firm.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77897
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