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Research Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society | IREES Research

Aligning technological, economic and governmental factors in regional energy transition processes | Aamina Teladia

Aamina Teladia
Aamina Teladia

Field l Discipline

  • Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary
  • Energy & Fuels
  • Economics, General
  • Planning & Development


  • Energy Modelling
  • Sustainable Energy Financing
  • Energy Policy and Regulation
  • Energy Project Appraisal


Despite the serious efforts of many governments and other social actors to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy system there are difficulties that arise in energy transformation. There are barriers related to governance failures, such as old-fashioned legislation and tariff structures, coordination problems between regional and national governments, and insufficient involvement of local stakeholders. In addition, existing business models and investments are not adequate. New technologies also do not always fit into existing infrastructure.

Additionally, new technology may have unintended consequences such as noise, pollution, threat of human health and biodiversity. In general, transitions are gradual because of all the constituting elements of the present system, the role of market parties, business models, regulation, arrangement of responsibilities, infrastructure and choice and design of technologies. All of which have been created in processes of alignment, de-alignment and re-alignment, resulting in a more or less stable situation. As in most transitions, new processes of alignment will occur new and promising socio-technological innovations will challenge existing socio-economic-technological configurations.

In my project I will show how new innovation processes at the local levels may be developed into building blocks for energy configurations at higher levels. In order to do so a Multilevel Perspective on transition is used as a heuristic framework to identify key factors and relationships at various levels. To enrich and supplement the framework, other approaches such as the Social-Ecological System approach and the Stage Model are used. The adopted models are then applied to case studies that are closely connected to ongoing projects such as Buurtwarmte (focused on district heating systems in an urban environment) and ESTRAC (focused on tools for regional transitions).

The research is conducted over 5 phases:

  • In phase one of the project, the theoretical frame will be developed and tested to a particular case, namely, district heating in the city of Groningen. The analysis of this case will include an overview of governmental, physical, social, financial technical and infrastructural factors, and the relationship between these factors, as well as an overview of energy demands and sources, in particular.
  • Based on the experiences in phase 1, in phase 2 the social (and technological) configuration will be studied in two cases which are in different stages ; Ameland and Middag- Humsterland.
  • Phase 3 reflects on the approaches and findings in phase 1 and 2 and to compare it to other studies of regional transition.
  • In phase 4, one or two new case studies will be conducted in a different Dutch region to check findings, by means of desk study and workshops, especially concerning the questions regarding key factors, alignment of spatial and time, using fore and back casting techniques.
  • In the last phase, the information of the former phases will be combined, resulting in an overall analysis, resulting in some promising scenario's, taking into main factors found in pervious stages.

The main goal to be achieved in this research is to understand what key factors may hinder or enable energy transition at local and regional levels.

Supervision by

More information and contact details
can be found on the personal profile of Aamina Teladia

Last modified:15 February 2024 11.22 a.m.