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Projects Economics of sustainable energy

The main aim of the research is to understand which policies can accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable energy systems – in the Netherlands, in Europe and in the Global South.

This research on renewable and sustainable energy covers the regulation of energy markets and technologies, and the design of policy instruments for the energy transition, such as carbon taxes.

Below an overview


  • New clean energy communities in a changing European energy system – NEWCOMERS (2019-2022)

    In its most recent Energy Union package, the European Union puts citizens at the core of the clean energy transitions. Beyond policy, disruptive innovations in energy sectors are challenging the traditional business model of large energy utilities. One such disruptive, social innovation is the emergence of new clean energy communities (‘newcomers’). The possible benefits of these ‘newcomers’ for their members and for society at large are still emerging and their potential to support the goals of the Energy Union is unclear.

    Contact information: Dr Julia Blash.

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  • Dutch homes gas-free by 2050? (2020-2021)

    The energy-efficient renovation of residential homes is one of the big challenges in the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Climate Agreement 7.4 million homes and 1 million buildings will have to be renovated by 2050, and natural-gas using heating systems have to be fully replaced by alternative heating systems. The first 1.5 million existing homes need to be renovated by 2030. To increase the renovation rate, the barriers for energy-efficient renovations need to be overcome. While the slow renovation rate can partly be attributed to market failures such as lack of information, split incentives and credit constraints, also behavioural biases (e.g. high subjective discount rates, risk and loss aversion, status-quo bias) inhibit investments in energy-efficiency. To overcome these behavioural barriers, instruments like financial incentives or interventions that appeal to people’s behavioural biases need to be implemented. As high up-front cost and lack of trust were identified as perceived major barriers for energy-efficient renovations, behavioural interventions need to enhance trust and address the renovation measures’ relative costs and benefits. Behavioural research can provide solutions, yet these will be most effective if they are aligned with the practical insights and needs from the business and public sector. In this project, we collaborate with the scale-up company De Energiebespaarders to test different price and non-price interventions to increase the adoption of efficient home energy audits, as a first step towards an energy-efficient renovation.

    Contact Information: Dr Julia Blash, Dr Menusch Khadjavi and Dr Giuliani Spadaro.