The impact of MAMCA as a stakeholder engagement tool during the setup of an energy community

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As they foster active participation in their daily operations, energy communities (ECs) are often regarded as important tools for the empowerment of civil stakeholders in the energy system. To ensure the incorporation of stakeholder needs, participation must also be guaranteed throughout the design phase of the EC. Despite a general consensus on the importance of stakeholder engagement in the setup of sustainability-fostering projects, the impact of engagement initiatives often goes unassessed. This makes it difficult to determine whether their application advances stakeholder interest. Therefore, we wanted to study the effects of a specific stakeholder engagement tool (Multi Actor Multi Criteria Analysis, MAMCA) that was used in the setup phase of eight different ECs. Through a survey with 102 participants, three core aspects are assessed: 1) the effect on participants' knowledge of ECs, 2) the effect on social learning, and 3) the extent to which the engagement goals and participant expectations are fulfilled. The study results show that stakeholder appreciation of the method is high and MAMCA has important value as a learning methodology, with 96% of participants indicating their knowledge was raised significantly and 94% marking increased awareness of other viewpoints. This led to a relevant rise in willingness to join an EC (from 75% of participants to 93%). The interactive aspect and expert assistance are seen as crucial elements in the MAMCA process. More attention to raising participants’ technical knowledge and feedback on the follow-up of the engagement initiative results are identified points of improvement for future applications.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummere23068
Aantal pagina's21
TijdschriftHeliyon
Volume10
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusPublished - 15 jan 2024

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