18th Conference on the Economics of Infrastructures

Local energy communities:
Hype or hope for stimulating sustainability?


Thursday, May 26th 2016, 09:00 – 18:00


Registration is open now

- please register before May 19 -

TU Delft - Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management

Building 31, Jaffalaan 5

2628 BX Delft


Local energy communities demonstrate how local energy provision can successfully contribute to the transition to sustainable energy systems while maintaining to accommodate the needs and expectations of citizens. While the prospects are promising, uncertainties remain how local energy communities can be realized in the current institutional setting of centralized energy systems. Citizens are increasingly involved in the provision of energy in their neighborhood by means of small scale sustainable power sources like wind turbines, solar PV, or bio gas installations. Significant technological innovations even accelerate this transition, like the development of smart grids, innovative energy storage facilities, and advancing possibilities for system integration even beyond energy into sectors like transport, recreation or fishery. These technologies are getting increasingly competitive vis-à-vis traditional large scale fossil fuel power plants. In addition, sustainable means of power production are heavily supported by regulatory and financial means in order to meet the ambitious climate protection targets of the European Union. Increasing interest in local energy provision is a well-known phenomenon in many European countries including Germany, Denmark, The United Kingdom, and The Netherlands.


This conference addresses an important and topical question:

How instrumental are local energy communities for realizing the ambitious targets towards sustainable energy systems in 2050?


The conference explores this question from three different perspectives:

  1. The technological and systemic challenges of integrating local energy into (inter-)national energy systems
  2. The need for innovative and tailor made regulation and governance of local energy systems
  3. The possibilities for a value sensitive design of local energy systems, both from a technical and institutional perspective


The conference is part of several ongoing NWO-MVI projects on social responsible innovation in the energy sector, NWO-system integration, and the NWO URSES project on uncertainty reduction in sustainable energy systems. It brings together national and international representatives from academia, policy and industry. A strongly multi-disciplinary approach will be promoted, including system engineering, sustainability transition, responsible innovation, mathematical modelling, economics, and political science.


The program is targeted at:

  • DSO Managers
  • Policy makers and enforcers (Economic Affairs, Energy Policy, Administrative Officers)
  • Governmental executives (Aldermen)
  • Agencies (ACM, RVO.nl)
  • Scientists in the field of energy infrastructures, socio-technical systems, responsible innovation in energy systems, institutional models and energy business models




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