Publications (FIS)

Participation 3.0 in the implementation of the energy transition - Components and effectiveness of an interactive dialogue tool (Vision:En 2040)

authored by
Julia Thiele, Julia Wiehe, Christina von Haaren

The allocation of renewable energy plants, especially wind turbines, is stagnating in Germany. Although the citizens approve of the energy transition, they resist concrete local projects. In recent years, research has shown that interactive map applications support participatory planning through motivation, social interaction, and knowledge transfer. We aim to reduce biases against renewable energy (RE) and support informed decision making while accepting local responsibility. We hypothesized that finding a new gamified participation format, based on behavioral mechanisms, would strengthen the empowerment of people. To this end, we designed a dialogue tool and participation format,’Vision:En 2040’, which combines: (i) a precise target electricity yield, (ii) an interactive map showing results of people’s actions, information about environmental impacts, and (iii) game rules which foster cooperation. In facilitated workshops, participants simulate the allocation of wind and photovoltaic power plants in their municipality to achieve a target electricity yield. The developed tool is based on methods of environmental planning and geoinformatics.’Vision:En 2040’ was systematically tested with a technical test and a pre-test. In addition, its impact on participants was assessed through surveys and qualitative content analysis. The evaluation results show that the tool can influence the acceptance of the energy transition in terms of attitude. Through’Vision:En 2040’, participants became aware of the community’s responsibility in the energy transition and expanded their knowledge. In addition, decision makers used the workshop results to plan RE sites. Our results indicate that’Vision:En 2040’ is helpful for informal citizen participation in accelerating the energy transition.

Institute of Environmental Planning
External Organisation(s)
Kompetenzzentrum Naturschutz und Energiewende KNE gGmbH
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)