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Towards renewable energy? Why the energy transition should have a place Dr. Christian Zuidema Spatial Planning & Environment Faculty of Spatial Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards renewable energy? Why the energy transition should have a place Dr. Christian Zuidema Spatial Planning & Environment Faculty of Spatial Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards renewable energy? Why the energy transition should have a place Dr. Christian Zuidema Spatial Planning & Environment Faculty of Spatial Sciences University of Groningen

2 Today 1| Issue 2| Energietransition 3| Area-based innovation 4| Questions & Discussion

3 1| Issue

4 Wat we al weten We zijn zwaar verslaafd aan fossiele energie

5 Three core issues 1| Fossil fuels are not renewable and limited We will eventually run out of them, and then what?

6 Three core issues 2| Climate change is an increasingly big issue to which the burning of fossil fuels is a big contributor We should rather use other resources

7 Three core issues 3| Geopolitical relations matter in interdependency On whom do ‘we’ want to depend

8 Problem … ›Obama; Oval Office Speech ; “For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires…

9 But it is difficult… ›After all: 1| We have high needs for energy 2| There are huge economic interests 3| There are important and vested interests in power 4| There are existing investments 5| We are largely unaware 6| We do not pay the real costs

10 Netherlands per person: -208 GJ per year -That is liter oil -Or m3 gas 1| We need lots of energy We have high and rising needs for energy -Food -Construction -User products -Transport -Comfort

11 But it is difficult 1Royal Dutch Shellthe NetherlandsPetroleum 2ExxonMobilUnited StatesPetroleum 3WalmartUnited StatesRetail 4BPUnited KingdomPetroleum 5SinopecChinaPetroleum 6China National Petroleum CorporationChinaPetroleum 7State Grid Corporation of ChinaChinaPower 8ChevronUnited StatesPetroleum 9ConocoPhillipsUnited StatesPetroleum 10ToyotaJapanAutomobile Fortune 2012 – biggest companies in the world

12 But it is difficult Richest countries in the world (2013 Worldbank)

13 3| Vested stakes (power) Example: Dutch government -Eneco -Nuon (about 25%) -Delta (Zeeland) -Gasterra: State (50%), Exxon (25%), Shell (25%)

14 4| Existing investments

15

16 5| We are largely unaware

17 22 kilograms61 kilograms 0,2 kilograms

18 6| We do not pay the real costs -Pollution -Health and human lives -Taxes and subsidies -Climate “The benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs.” -Climate change will affect world GDP to 5-20% a year -We need about 1% of the global GDP to avoid the worst

19 The real challenge Sense of Urgency Willingess to Change Willingness to Act Efforts Ability to Act Ability to Change Sense of Control

20 The real challenge ›“Problems are a complex web of interrelated actors and networks, both in a physical, economic, social and institutional sense.” ›“Apart from limitations to fully oversee and grasp such a complex web, ownership and power are fragmented, limiting the capacity of any actor to alter them” (De Boer & Zuidema 2013)

21 2| Transitions

22 Path-dependent / Lock-in Dynamic equilibrium A system that has found a state in which it stays relatively stable (between certain borders). If it is also resistance to change: path-dependency & lock-in

23 Transitions The idea of a socio-technical or societal ‘transition’: A fundamental transformation from one dynamic equilibrium to another -Industrial revolution -Demografic transition -Electricity -ICT -…

24 Transitions Involves processes of self-organisation and co-evolution, involving the linking of processes of change in various societal, economic, and technological domains This system largely changes by itself = Idea of planning by exerting control

25 Transition ‘management’ Socio-technical landscape: common practices, culture, values, opinions, beliefs, assumptions, etc. - changes slowly Regimes: the existing systems of regulations, laws, infrastructure, power, contracts, organisations, etc. – tends to resist change Niches: the place where innovations take place in relative isolation – typically on a local/individual scale – so bottom-up developments – more rapid changes

26 Transition ‘management’ Stimulate innovation in ‘niches’ Learning-by-doing Allow for multiple developments (not rigid) Make regimes more flexible so they can change Hope: slowly changing societal and cultural conceptions and successful niche activities (innovations/lessons) can alter the regime

27 Transitions But this remains fairly abstract… what can we do in practice? -Change societies and economies? -Change institutions? -Change the technology and physical landscapes? -What about (spatial) planning then?

28 CBS (2012) An example: The Netherlands …

29 % hernieuwbaar An example: The Netherlands …

30 2011: 4,3% 2012: 4,5% 2013: 4,5% An example: The Netherlands

31 2011: 4,3% 2012: 4,5% 2013: 4,5% An example: The Netherlands

32 Why is it so hard?

33

34 75%

35

36 Can NL be 100% sustainable? Should we import sus-energy? Should we focus on other experitise? NIMBY (not in my back yard) Space forces us asking questions

37 So… Transitions? Rotmans (2011): More than top-down by central government; not just a focus on technology! Hajer (2012): Use social innovation and entrepreneurship – people are a key issue Understand the local

38 3| Area-based innovation

39 Energysystems are not isolated from our society and physical landscape Innovations (in niches) also do not occur in isolation Any sense of co-evolution requires the interaction between various physical or social systems – so also between the energy system and its context Framing the energy system as embedded in the physical and socio-economic landscape -> Integrated energy landscape Think spatially

40 Current (recent…) fossil fuel based energy system: -The energy system is physically and institutionally largely seperated from other spatial and societal functions -Limited visibility (underground & far away) -Energy is ‘footloose’ = Space is implicit -Economic affairs dominates arena -Limited societal actor involvement 1 Understanding the challenge

41 System based on renewables will be different : -Visible (above the ground and more space needed) -Closer to people (in and around houses or towns) -Towards the ‘prosumer’ -Energy security – behaviour or space? -Involves many societal actors and subsectors 1 Understanding the challenge

42 The area-based niche: -Intergation with the local physical/spatial landscape is crucial (potentials, limits, scources, embedding, transport, storage) -Integration with the local socio-economic landscape is crucial (support, synergies, investments, producers- consumers) 2 Responding to the challenge

43 Thinking spatially and seeing energy as a visible element in the landscape -Connections between functions, land uses, actors, interests are all literally becoming visible -Local qualities and identities can be connected 2 Responding to the challenge

44 Helps for understanding where to do what? Integrated energy landscape:

45 Helps for understanding where to do what? Oven Voetbal School Elderlyhome Houses Pool Integrated energy landscape:

46 Helps to see how the energy-system might be integrated in the physical-spatial and socio-economic landscape | Regional development Integrated energy landscape:

47 Helps to see how the energy-system might be integrated in the physical-spatial and socio-economic landscape | Identity & Participation With the development of institutional & social capital -Networks -Partnerships -Local sustainable energy companies -Institutional barriers become visible Integrated energy landscape:

48 Provides direction to policies -Not monofunctional ‘energy’ but an integrated vision -Not one sub-sector, but a broad societal endeavor -Relation local context crucial -Top-down and bottom-up Integrated energy landscape:

49 The framing of a ‘niche’ within ‘transition thinking’ should include ‘area-based’ innovations and practices Thinking spatially helps us identify linkages between societal subsystems, both in terms of barriers (allocation) and opportunities (synergie) Thinking spatially helps us understand the problem of shifting to a sustainable energy system and provides direction towards a response Conclusions

50 4| Questions & Discussion


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