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Using methods of Multi-Criteria Decision Making to provide decision support concerning local bioenergy projects

Nils Lerche, Ines Wilkens, Meike Schmehl, Swantje Eigner-Thiel and Jutta Geldermann

Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 2019, vol. 68, issue C

Abstract: The public sector plays an important role in the German “Energiewende”. Besides energy management in municipal properties the local government can also support the switch to renewable energy sources through a change in energy supply structures within in their region. Methods of Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) from Operations Research are helpful regarding that challenge, as they are able to assess the sustainability of local energy concepts, since they not only offer stakeholders the opportunity to participate, but also consider multiple conflicting criteria. In that way, the acceptance of local energy projects and the participation of stakeholders in the decision process are supported. The case study presented in this paper illustrates the results of a MCDM process employed to identify a sustainable bioenergy concept in a rural village in Lower Saxony, Germany. Our analysis revealed not only the opportunities and challenges associated with executing an MCDM process to support the realization of local bioenergy projects, but also discusses potential limitations of the methods.

Keywords: Socio-economic planning; Local energy projects; Multi-Criteria Decision Making; Acceptance; Public sector management; Structured decision process (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2017.08.002

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