October 2021 – For the Clingendael Spectator, SPA Sustainable wrote a comment on the sky-high gas prices and the role of gas as a transition fuel helping to pave the way towards a phase-out of fossil fuels energy sector in Europe.
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Resistance to Sustainability Transitions
January 2022 – For the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, SPA Sustainability carried out a preliminary review of resistance to sustainability transitions and the role of public participation as an instrument for preventing or mitigating such resistance. The project is based on a scan of academic and non-academic literature and on interviews with key stakeholders in the Netherlands. Aim is to inform the Ministry’s Knowledge Transfer hub ‘Kennisknooppunt Transitie’ about available evidence, knowledge gaps and needs for further research. Results will be published soon.
Engaging Energy Communities in Europe
October 2021 – SPA Sustainability contributed to the ‘Sustainable Places Conference’ in Rome (28 September – 1 October 2021) as author and co-author of two conference papers. The papers discuss how to set up and monitor a ‘just’ engagement of energy communities in five European countries. The lessons learned are based on the Horizon2020 Project Lightness.
Energy Communities for Just Energy Transitions on a Local Scale: Initial Lessons from the Lightness Project
A Social Engagement Fast Track on Energy Communities-Key Lesson Learned from H2020 EU Projects
Citizen Communities and Demand-Side Management in Europe
December 2020 – In recent years, citizen energy communities that jointly produce renewable energy and sell it to the grid are starting to become integrated into the electricity grids in many EU countries. Cooperating as a community on joint energy saving is an even more recent development. In the European Horizon2020 project LIGHTNESS, five pilots on joint energy saving through an advanced network interface are tested in practice. The cases involve Zero Energy Houses in the Netherlands, social housing in Poland, a city as independent energy cooperative in Spain, a housing block in Italy and a business park in France. For Duneworks B.V., SPA Sustainability coordinates the work programme on citizen engagement.
How to phase down fossils in an ordered way
November 2020 – Phasing down production of fossils in a fast but ordered way is one of the key challenges in the energy transition. SPA Sustainability chaired a workshop hosted by Wageningen University on ‘The Economics and Politics of Phasing Down Fossils’. In the workshop, practitioners from various academic disciplines as well as key stakeholders were brought together to discuss the issue. The workshop was held on November 3, 2020.
Green versus Red
November 2020 – The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the new presidential team of the United States holds promises for a more sustainable global and American development. An improvement of the environmental policies compared to the Donald Trump era is certain, but the real impact remains to be seen. The announced policies and further shift towards sustainability that are required, might be difficult to realise in the current controversial political context.
Scenarios for a Circular Netherlands in 2050
September 2020 – For the scientific council of the Dutch political party GroenLinks (WBGL), SPA Sustainability started editing a book with scenarios and articles giving an impression of how a circular society in 2050 could look like. The book discusses not only possible technological innovations upto 2050, but also the social innovations that would have to with them. Risks and benefits of the transition towards a circular society are discussed.
Course Design ‘Citizens’ Initiatives for Sustainability’
November 2020 – As a response to ever increasing citizens’ engagement in sustainability issues, for instance through renewable energy or ecological farming initiatives, SPA Sustainability has led for the Open University of the Netherlands the design of a new course for policy makers and citizens interested in theory and practice of this topic. Some of the featured questions are: What kinds of citizen initiatives exist? How can they flourish and expand? What is their contribution to global sustainability transitions? What are potentials and limitations of these initiatives? and what are success factors for policy makers and citizens engaged in, or cooperating with such initiatives? More information and subscription options to the course as of September 2021 can be found here.
Final ClairCity Reports now Available
September 2020 – The final reports of the ClairCity project are now available. The reports outline the innovative ClairCity method to design and implement together with citizens ambitious air quality and carbon policies in cities. The method offers a unique combination of modelling, citizen engagement and policy co-creation that was successfully tested in six European cities and regions.
Successful Edition of Summer Course Energy Transition 2020
August 2020 – The VU-IVM Summer Course ‘Global Energy Transition in a Fossil World’ was held from 6 to 17 July 2020. 25 students from all over the world discussed with a variety of speakers from Dutch government, NGOs, academia and business to learn about social, political, economic and technological aspects of the global energy transition. A new edition will follow in July 2021.