How to plan for success? An exploration of neighbourhood energy planning

Kathelijne Bouw, Carina Wiekens, Sarah Elbert, André Faaij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It is essential to consider the social context when designing sustainable energy systems that lead to successful implementation in neighbourhoods. Current methods often only consider techno-economic aspects and are insufficiently capable of including social factors, because they are unclear about which social factors are relevant and how they can be quantified. This paper explores how neighbourhoods can be characterized socially by studying pre-existing neighbourhood characteristics, focussed on socio-economic status and social cohesion. The paper is built around four case-studies in the Netherlands, which are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The paper shows how the social context can be defined by 1) proposing a theoretical framework of social factors, 2) quantifying these social factors by survey research, 3) interpretating this data using qualitative casestudy data and 4) quantifying success in the cases and relating this to the scores of the survey data. The results of this explorative study will 1) show how a social profile can be used to find leads for a participative approach towards sustainable neighbourhoods where techno-economic solutions are well embedded in the social context and 2) help to understand and predict success of participation in communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102761
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Issue number102761
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • community energy
  • neighbourhoods
  • collective action
  • energy planning


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