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Assessing the performance of Dutch local energy companies

Energy Policy
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.03.021
  • Local Energy Company
  • Renewable Energy Technology
  • Data Envelopment Analysis
  • Ecology


Abstract According to binding European Union agreements, the Netherlands has to cover at least 14% of its total energy use with renewable energy sources by 2020. However, the share of renewable energy in the Netherlands is small and hardly increasing. In 2010, renewable energy in the Netherlands accounted for only 3.8% of the national energy use, and has decreased with 0.4% compared to 2009. A cause of the stagnating renewable energy generation in the Netherlands is the absence of a nation-wide, clear and consistent long-term policy on the introduction of renewable energy. In order to overcome the current standstill in renewable energy adoption, several Dutch municipalities take the initiative and establish Local Energy Companies (LECs). However, to date, it is unclear which LEC type performs best. This research aims to compare the performance of existing LECs on three aspects: technology, finance, and organization. Furthermore, the performance of existing LECs is compared with theoretical reference LECs, in order to estimate efficiencies and opportunities for improvements. Finally, the influence of the recent changes in the Dutch subsidy scheme on LEC performance is examined. In order to achieve these aims, the benchmark method Data Envelopment Analysis is employed.

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