An Interactive Planning Support Tool for Addressing Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy Projects in The Netherlands

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The implementation of renewable energy policies is lagging behind in The Netherlands. While several Dutch cities have ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the implementation of renewable energy projects has been rather slow. The main reasons for this are the limited institutional capacities of local decision-makers, low levels of social acceptance of renewable-energy technologies, and limited opportunities for engagement of communities in decision-making processes. In order to address these issues we have developed an interactive planning support tool named COLLAGE for stakeholder participation in local renewable-energy planning. The goal of this paper is to analyze whether the COLLAGE tool helps to increase community engagement in renewable-energy projects and planning by increasing awareness and addressing social learning issues related to renewable-energy options. We tested the tool in a series of workshops with stakeholders and citizens from the city of Enschede, The Netherlands. The workshop results show that the tool helped involve stakeholders and communities in deciding where to locate renewable-energy facilities. It increased community members’ awareness of the benefits of and requirements for renewable energy by disclosing the spatial consequences of overall municipal goals. We conclude that the COLLAGE tool can be an important building block towards new local energy governance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number313
Number of pages19
JournalISPRS international journal of geo-information
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017




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