We need to be aware of this increasing depletion of our energy resources. Also the affordability of energy services are becoming more problematic.
It is necessary to change our energy infrastructure in the 21st century. In order to achieve this sustainable energy sources are introduced on a large scale. Several initiatives are executed world-wide aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuel such as oil and natural gas.
Experiment: a natural gas-free neighbourhood
The Municipality of Zoetermeer wants to contribute to this energy transition through reduction of the consumption of natural gas for heating and to increase the use of more sustainable energy sources. This requires substantial adjustments. This is not limited to the energy system. Also changes to the dwellings need to be applied. And also very important: end-users need to be willing to change their energy behavior.
Because of the large investments of the Municipality in this transitions, she wants to be able to predict how effective this transition will be. Because of this a laboratory experiment was set up: ‘The Policy Lab Experiment for Natural Gas-free Neighbourhoods’. In this project the Municipality of Zoetermeer cooperates with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, The Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), TNO, our lectoraat and other stakeholders.
How willing are the residents to participate in the transition towards other energy sources? Which factors determine this willingness? In this project our team is involved in the following:
- We identify the available data sources of the determinants
- We develop (conceptually) a solution for the storage and processing of these data.
- We study the statistical relationships between the different factors such as the number of home evictions, criminality, disturbances in the neighbourhood and the feeling of social bonding of the residents with other residents and with the neighbourhood.
- We are involved in the formulation of a social readiness score for energy transition. In order to achieve this, we need to account for the following:
- the social bonding of the residents;
- the extent to which the dwellings are overcrowded;
- the capability of residents to accept change in the neighbourhood;
- the willingness of residents to stimulate change.
Our research team
- prof. dr. Lampros Stergioulas
- dr. Raymond Hoogendoorn
- dr. Hani Al-Ers
- Max Herder
- Patrick Sierat
- Ismail Tiryaki