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Stagnation in the Dutch energy transition of the existing housing stock : an analysis of underlying bottlenecks and current practice

Brester, C.J. (2021) Stagnation in the Dutch energy transition of the existing housing stock : an analysis of underlying bottlenecks and current practice.

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Abstract:Getting current housing stock completely energy neutral is an important part of the climate goals for 2050. Serious number of houses have to be renovate to more sustainable conditions. Therefore, the energy transition of the current housing stock needs and wants to gain momentum, yet stagnation in the transition is observed. Three bottlenecks are recognized by important stakeholders (the industry regime): i) deficit of financial resources, ii) difficulty in choice for sustainable alternatives, and iii) laboriously progress in creating support base amongst residents. However, bringing forward serious improvements to these bottlenecks seems difficult despite recognition. This paper further investigates these bottlenecks through case study and expert interviews. Case study is used to investigate bottlenecks on practice level and to serve as input for expert interviews. Interviews were used to further amplify results and to seek for further bottlenecks. Results are compared with theory of transition management, as transition management proposes important starting points needed to make progress in the energy transition. Results indicated that recognized bottlenecks indeed play important roles in stagnation. Economies of scale supported by standardization and industrialization are seen as most promising solutions to relieve bottlenecks. The industry regime incorporates these solutions in their strategy by adopting integrated neighbourhood-oriented approaches. This paper debates that the current strategy constitutes towards a fourth bottleneck. Results show that current stakeholders are not yet able to think outside their current position in the supply chain. Therefore, solutions brought forward are only located within the existing industry and supply chain regime, as stakeholders assume that interrelations in the supply chain remain unchanged. The Dutch financial rewarding system and tax system appear to be important underlying causes of the fourth bottleneck. Both systems support the main train of thought of the incumbent regime leaving no room for niche movements and new business models. However, transition management argues that the contrary is needed. Experimenting on smaller scale by niche movements to identify new business models should eventually lead to easier upscaling in the energy transition. Therefore, this paper concludes that steering towards smaller niche movements is needed in order to overcome stagnation in the energy transition of the existing housing stock. Keywords: Bottlenecks; Business Models; Energy Transition; Existing Housing Stock; Industry Regime.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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