Preferences Matter: A Constructive Approach to Incorporating Local Stakeholders’ Preferences in the Sustainability Evaluation of Energy Technologies
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 CO 2 eq 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.
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