Overcoming System-level Transitional Inertia: accelerating the Dutch energy transition


The programme is motivated by the observation that the adoption of innovative concepts and technologies in the Netherlands’ energy system is much slower than required given the urgency of the foreseeable problems and the substantive system delays. The proposed research therefore aims at insights into, on the one hand, factors that contribute to inertia in Dutch energy transition and, on the other hand, innovative governance strategies for overcoming inertia and providing acceleration of the transition. To this end the programme will combine three complementary research approaches: energy systems modelling (project 1), a quasi-experimental design for facilitating multi-actor decision-making (project 2) and an experimental approach using gaming and simulation tools to explore how different constraints and institutional settings may affect actor behaviour, The programme will primarily focus on the built environment, and will consider variables at the macro, meso and micro-level, and their interactions. Project 1 will deliver interactive models for comparatively assessing the impact of governance strategies including policy instruments on choices and learning curves for specific technological applications in the Built Environment. Project 2 will deliver a procedure for informed decision-making and, as we expect, one or two specific pilots for the built environment. Project 3 will deliver specific insights into the impact of institutional constraints and dynamics for (multi-)actor decision-making 

The project 1 aims to develop and use systems simulation models related to the built environment and the energy system as a whole, and analyse the resulting system behaviours over time in order to (1) identify combinations of structures that cause systemic inertia and (2) policies that help to accelerate the Dutch energy system transition. Both generic and specific models will be developed for the Built Environment and the related (Dutch) energy system as a whole. 

Funded By: 
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Start date: 
October 2010
12 months