Does the sun shine for all? Inequalities in the energy transition in The Hague

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Abstract

Over the last decade, solar energy has proven to be a key technology in transitioning to a sustainable energy system. However, current solar energy policies favour affluent households, limiting the participation of disadvantaged households in the energy transition. This leaves disadvantaged households even more vulnerable to increasing energy costs, as the recent unprecedented rise in energy prices has painfully demonstrated. To ensure that transition mechanisms are accessible to all households, solar energy policy needs to consider spatial justice. With this perspective, we go beyond technical analyses of solar energy potential and use a socio-spatial approach to evaluate the adoption of solar energy in The Hague. This policy brief is based on a research study that evaluated the transition to solar energy in the city of The Hague, The Netherlands, from a spatial justice perspective. Through a socio-spatial analysis at the postcode level, the research identified four distinct groups with varying levels of access to solar energy. The results show that these groups are not only strongly segregated across the city but also overlap with existing socio-spatial inequalities. The four levels of access to solar energy are then compared to current solar adoption rates and technical rooftop energy potential in the city. Results show that decreasing levels of access to solar energy align with decreasing adoption rates, revealing that current policies fail to provide equitable access to solar energy, leading to inequalities in adoption rates. Furthermore, the study quantifies how much of the technical potential available in The Hague is in areas where access to solar energy is limited, revealing a significant amount of untapped technical potential with the potential to address existing socio-spatial inequalities. Finally, two groups of interest and related leverage points for future policy interventions to address equity in the transition to solar energy in The Hague were identified.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalThe Evolving Scholar
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

ISBN 978-94-6366-772-2

Keywords

  • Solar energy
  • Energy Transition
  • Spatial Justice
  • Low-income Neighborhoods Access to Solar Energy
  • Solar Adoption Rates
  • Socio-spatial Inequalities

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