University of Twente Student Theses


The role of project-related conditions on spatial integration of energy transition synergies : a qualitative comparative case study of Dutch spatial development projects

Vries, Idwer de (2021) The role of project-related conditions on spatial integration of energy transition synergies : a qualitative comparative case study of Dutch spatial development projects.

[img] PDF
Abstract:The transition towards a sustainable energy system is a complex challenge for countries around the world. This is especially the case for densely populated countries, such as the Netherlands. To make efficient use of scarce space and to gain societal support, the integration of large-scale energy transition solutions into other spatial development projects has been identified to be a viable solution in the Dutch context. These integrative projects where two (or more) spatial objectives are combined in a single project to increase the overall net value are referred to as synergies. Due to the increased complexity associated with implementing ET-synergies, certain project conditions can facilitate and halt the effectiveness of the integration process. Against this background, this research aims to identify the role of relevant project conditions on the spatial integration of ET-synergies. To determine what conditions potentially influence the effective implementation of ET-synergies, the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework is used as a theoretical basis. Inspired by the IAD framework, a distinction is made between the internal social structure based on the actorinteractions and the external context based on the existing environment. The IAD-definitions were used to conceptualize the integral project context using nine relevant project conditions. The internal context is formed by seven rules: participation (1-boundary); role distribution (2-position); scope of possible synergies (3-scope); allowed actions (4-choice); communication with legislative supervision (5-aggregation); information sharing methods (6-information); and cost distribution timing (7-payoff). The external context is formed by two relevant external variables: the local participants (8-attributes of community) and the project location (9-biophysical conditions). These nine IAD-conditions were enriched and operationalised with insights from energy transition and climate adaptation integration literature, to select empirical indicators and a hypothetical supportive state for all conditions. To examine which conditions are relevant, a systemic comparison was performed of 19 spatial development projects where synergies with the energy transition were explored. Data were collected on the basis of expert interviews and document analysis. Qualitative data about potentially relevant conditions and the outcome were transformed into fuzzy values (0, 0.3, 0.7 or 1). The relevant conditions were scored compared to the hypotheses, with a case condition identical to the hypothesis obtaining a 1 score. The implementation of the ET-synergies, referred to as the outcome, were scored based on the delays caused and on their achieved contribution to the energy transition. The systemic comparison of the studied cases shows that effective implementation of ET-synergies is linked to two sufficient pathways: 1) presence of supportive payoff and biophysical conditions; and 2) presence of supportive aggregation; information; payoff and community conditions. Sufficiency implies that when all conditions of the pathway are in a supportive state, the ET-synergy will be implemented effectively. All 10 cases where the conditions of any of the two sufficient configurations were all present in a supportive state have resulted in an effective ET-synergy implementation. Investigation of cases with low scores on the outcome show that failed implementation of synergies is associated with the following two pathways: 1) the absence of a supportive payoff condition; and 2) the absence of supportive position, scope, and biophysical conditions. Necessity implies that the (combination of) conditions needs to be supportive before effective ET-synergy implementation can occur. All eight cases where any of the two necessary configurations were absence resulted in a failed implementation of synergies. The results particularly show that timely cost-distribution (supportive payoff) plays a crucial role in achieving successful synergies. When the costs related to the synergy are distributed too late into a project, the synergy is not transformed into a concrete objective and tends to remain an ambition. This delay is likely to result in an ineffective integration process. Hence, when project leaders involved in water-related spatial development projects are aiming to effectively implement an ET-synergy, it is recommended to focus on engaging adequate investors early in the project.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page