|dc.description.abstract||The transition towards a clean energy system is not solely a technical and economic challenge, but also a major social challenge. The transition transcends question of who gets what, when and how, as the costs and benefits of the transition are not equally distributed between and within countries, regions and households. An ‘unjust’ transition affects political support which is essential for a successful transition.
To better understand the justice implications of the energy transition and the best policy practices to address them, the concept of energy justice has emerged on the social science research agenda. Energy justice seeks to apply principles of justice to energy policies. However, the literature on energy is relatively young and there are limited insights on how energy justice can be operationalised and put into practice in order to promote just energy transitions. Therefore, this study aims to develop and test a framework to assess energy justice.
To do so, first an evaluation framework was developed based on literature of energy justice and energy transitions. The framework consists of the three dimensions of energy justice: (1) distributive justice (the allocation of costs and benefits among stakeholders), (2) recognition-based justice (the recognition of the misrecognised in society and the respectful treatment of opposed voices) and (3) procedural justice (e.g. inclusiveness and transparency of procedures). This framework was empirically tested on two case studies:
• Burgenland, Austria, illustrates a successful regional example of the roll-out of renewable energy generation;
• Engie, the Netherlands, demonstrates the successful phase-out of the coal fired plant, Centrale Gelderland 13.
The assessment was based on document study, 18 semi-structured interviews and statistical data. The evaluation framework includes a scoring system and scores both cases high on the three dimensions of energy justice. The Burgenland case shows best practice among others in using the energy transition as a tool to boost a region economically, socially and environmentally, while relatively fairly distributing the benefits and costs. The Engie case demonstrates the best practices among others in mitigating the negative impacts that come with a phase-out e.g. employment impacts.
After the empirical confrontation, the evaluation framework was further specified and revised. Overall, this study evidenced that energy justice concerns many aspects of the energy transition, from energy availability and affordability for now and in the future, to concerns about nature and employment impacts. The study concludes that this evaluation framework for energy justice offers a way forward to govern the energy transition.||