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Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10922-10960; doi:10.3390/su70810922

Preferences Matter: A Constructive Approach to Incorporating Local Stakeholders’ Preferences in the Sustainability Evaluation of Energy Technologies

1
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) and Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2
Department of Industrial Management, University of Piraeus, 80, Karaoli & Dimitriou str, PC18534 Piraeus, Greece
3
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Kusiak
Received: 25 May 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1095 KB, uploaded 12 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

This research paper aims at developing and applying a constructive weighting methodology for the elicitation of local stakeholders’ preferences regarding a set of sustainability evaluation criteria during the assessment of low-carbon energy technologies. The overall methodology has been applied and tested for the sustainability evaluation of selected low-carbon energy technologies in Europe from a local stakeholders’ perspective. The researchers applied a constructive weighting methodology based on different Multiple Criteria Analysis (MCA) techniques to test the consistency of stakeholders’ preferences. The methodology was piloted based on a small-scale European local stakeholders’ survey within the framework of Covenant CapaCITY, an Intelligent Energy Europe project that supports the development of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). It became evident that the local stakeholders who participated placed high priorities on aspects such as CO2eq emissions reduction, ecosystem damages reduction, and resilience to climate change during the evaluation of low-carbon energy technologies. Considering the overall energy technologies assessment, wind off-shore, solar PV, hydropower, and wind on-shore achieved the highest scores and better reflected the priorities of local stakeholders considering a large set of multiple sustainability criteria. The high number of criteria led to some inconsistencies of stakeholders’ preferences, confirming the need for consistency checks and/or combining different methods of preference elicitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable energy technologies; sustainability criteria; local stakeholders’ preferences; weighting methodology; integrated sustainability evaluation; multiple criteria analysis sustainable energy technologies; sustainability criteria; local stakeholders’ preferences; weighting methodology; integrated sustainability evaluation; multiple criteria analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Grafakos, S.; Flamos, A.; Enseñado, E.M. Preferences Matter: A Constructive Approach to Incorporating Local Stakeholders’ Preferences in the Sustainability Evaluation of Energy Technologies. Sustainability 2015, 7, 10922-10960.

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