How should a government formulate its energy strategy? To answer this question, at the request of the VNG (Association of Dutch Municipalities), Posad examined the energy strategies of seven pilot regions. Our energy workshops didn’t yield any readymade strategies – the differences between regions and approaches were too great for that – but they did lead to a series of recommendations for governments standing at the threshold of the energy transition. These recommendations have been compiled in a report available at regionale-energiestrategie.nl (in Dutch).
- Try to generate the needed energy within the region before looking elsewhere. Don’t immediately assume offshore wind energy generation is the only answer.
- Investigate the new economic opportunities afforded by energy production. For instance, it might be possible to supply energy to neighbouring regions in exchange for employment opportunities or housing sites.
- Use equivalent key indicators, figures and sources so you can formulate your strategy on the basis of meaningful comparisons.
- Start with objective figures. They will give you a clear idea of the current energy demand. You can then use them as a basis for estimating what the demand will be in the future with and without energy-saving measures.
- In your strategy, include both a long view (a so-called “dot on the horizon”) and a short- and medium-term action plan made up of concrete projects.
- Help people to understand and experience your long view by using design to make it concrete.
Energy strategy handbook
Posad also plans to produce an energy strategy handbook for governments beginning to make the transition. The handbook will address the overall process as well as specifics. It will identify qualitative and quantitative guidelines and parameters and propose a calculation method. The handbook will also discuss the energy workshop approach, the use of design research, and process supervision.