Does the sun shine for all? Revealing socio-spatial inequalities in the transition to solar energy in The Hague, The Netherlands

Chiem W. Kraaijvanger, Trivik Verma, Neelke Doorn, Juliana E. Goncalves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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With technological advances and decreasing prices, solar energy is a key technology in the urban energy transition. However, the focus on increasing the overall installed capacity has overshadowed energy justice considerations, leading to inequalities in solar energy adoption. This paper adopts an equity perspective to analyse the transition to solar (photovoltaic) energy in the city of The Hague, The Netherlands. Access to solar energy is at the core of the research, encapsulating factors that influence the ability of a household to adopt solar energy. Through a socio-spatial analysis at the postcode level, we identify four distinct groups with varying levels of access to solar energy. Our 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, we show that most of the technical potential available in The Hague is in areas where access to solar energy is limited, representing opportunities to exploit a significant amount of untapped technical potential while addressing existing socio-spatial inequalities. Here, we also identify two groups of interest and related leverage points for future policy interventions to address equity in the transition to solar energy in The Hague.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103245
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Access to solar energy
  • Energy justice
  • Energy policy
  • Energy transition
  • Residential solar photovoltaic

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