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.

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.

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.

New Insights for Citizen Policies in Bristol


December 2019 – The recently published ClairCity final policy report Bristol shows that policy making with citizens leads to new insights: 1) not commuting, but shopping and leisure behaviour contributes most to air pollution in Bristol, 2) citizens generally support more ambitious air pollution and climate change policies in Bristol and are ready to change their own behaviours accordingly, 3) policy makers confirm that the citizen plans overall can be implemented, 4) the citizen plans lead to less air pollution and carbon emissions in the city and do not have to imply excessive additional costs to the city. Read more >>

ClairCity – Citizen-inclusive local sustainability policies in Europe


January 2019 – Citizens need to be at the heart of sustainability policy making in cities. Air quality and climate policies will require huge changes in European cities in the coming years. In the Horizon2020 project ‘ClairCity’, it is investigated in six European cities and regions (Amsterdam, Bristol, Ljubljana, Aveiro, Genoa and Sosnowiec) what current and preferred future behavioural practices of citizens can be used as a basis for such policies. Also, citizens are asked for their own preferences regarding future policies and local policy makers are given the opportunity to react to these proposals. In a final stage of the project, the effects of the unified citizen and policy maker proposals are modelled. The project shows that the pace of planned change is very important: in some cities, citizens seem ahead of policy makers, in others policy makers seem more ambitious than citizens. The project is carried out with partner Trinomics and 15 other consortium members all over Europe. Read more

Who will win the energy transition?


November 2019 – The future low-carbon energy sector will also reshuffle energy geopolitics. Trinomics together with partners carried out a project on this topic, focusing on energy technology dependencies of the European Union and on a policy strategy that ensures competitiveness and security of supply in the EU low-carbon energy sector. Stephan Slingerland presented main conclusions and recommendations of the project for Trinomics on October 24, 2019, at the Berlin German-French Energy Transition Forum conference. The project reports can be downloaded from the European Commission’s Publications Website here.

‘Energie voor groene welvaart’


December 2015 – A successful global energy transition requires new narratives for change.

For the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL, SPA Sustainability wrote the book ‘Energy for Green Welfare’ (in Dutch). It discusses key conflicts of interest that need to be solved for a successful global energy transition based on three completely different narratives for a future global energy sector: one starting from the viewpoint of the fossil fuel exporting countries, one putting developing countries central, and one focusing on industrialised countries

The book was published by Aeneas Media in 2015. Order here