RESPECT: Studying public acceptance of the energy transition

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Public participation in decision-making on regional energy strategies

How can residents be involved in decision-making on regional energy strategies? This question is central to the new research project Renewable Energy Strategies: Effective Public Engagement in Climate Policy and Energy Transition (RESPECT) of the University of Groningen in collaboration with New Energy Coalition. Initial research and studies will take place in a ‘living lab’ in the provinces of Groningen and Zuid-Holland, The project will start on the 1st of May 2020 and will run for four years.

Public resistance can be a serious barrier for implementing renewable energy projects, such as wind parks. Dr. Goda Perlaviciute from the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences and dr. Lorenzo Squintani from the Faculty of Law study whether and how engaging people in decision-making may lead to better and more acceptable energy projects. To study real-life public participation practices, Perlaviciute and Squintani together with multiple societal partners established the Like!Me Living Lab.

Energy strategy plans in the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Zuid-Holland

Building on their work in the Like!Me Living Lab, they will study how to engage the public in decision-making on regional energy strategies in the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Zuid-Holland. Both provinces are selected as research areas following the project’s funding conditions.

Disseminate knowledge

New Energy Coalition is involved as a partner for organizing annual valorization events, and in developing a good-practice guide, connect the research team to scholars from other disciplines working on energy-related topics, connect other provinces who are willing to conduct similar research as well as energy companies and energy network operators.