Let’s talk about a sustainable future for Groningen

What is actually needed to switch to 60% renewable energy in between 2025 and 2030? Under what conditions can such installations get a place within the landscape? And what are actually opinions and ideas of the community? With these questions in mind the province of Groningen organizes a total of 10 meet-ups in villages in the province as well at the city of Groningen.

Triggering enthusiastic discussions with the WeEnergy Game

The interactive evenings are designed in a special manner. It is not the representative of the province, Fleur Gräper – van Koolwijkof, who led to the conversation yesterday in the Poortershoes in Groningen, but the residents themselves. After a short introduction by moderator Jaap Jepma, the 22 participants started playing the WeEnergy Game, a serious game developed by researchers of the Centre of Expertise Energy of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen.

In two different scenarios, one focusing on the city of Groningen and the other focusing on a surrounding rural area, the task for the participants was to provide the location with sufficient energy and also keep all the different interests in balance. The game pushes players to create the ideal sustainable energy mix to make their city or village energy neutral. Moreover, they need to negotiate about the use of renewable energy sources and include considerations and interests of five different factors (production, people, planet, profit, space).

Already during the game itself, the participants started an enthusiastic discussion about the pros and cons of different renewable energy sources, and the possibilities to place those within the city lines. Why not use the bypass for solar panels, the stadspark as a field for corn? And why not combine can different sources smartly?

What was very intriguing during this evening was the diversity of opinions and topics which were brought onto the table. The discussion was not only about the local conditions, but further about the global scope of energy transition, the role of big companies in pushing the transition forward, environmental issues and, last but not least, the important role the province needs to play in order to educate people about energy transition and to make change possible by proposing regulations.

All in all the evening was full of ideas, suggestions and food for thoughts. In the next two weeks, the province will organize three more meetings. The resident-meetings start at 19.30. The participation is limited to 35 participants per evening. Registration for the meetings is possible via www.provinciegroningen.nl/duurzameenergie.

April 13:     MFC De Binding – Oude Pekela
April 18:     Dorpshuis – Tolbert
April 20:    De Klinker – Winschoten

WeEnergy Game

The WE-Energy Game has been developed as part of the doctoral research of Frank Pierie. The game provides insight into the possibilities and difficulties of energy transition for key stakeholders in local sustainable energy (e.g. Energy co-operatives). While playing the game, the participants negotiate from different perspectives (people, planet, permit, profit, balance) on the use of renewable energy sources in order to make a town or city energy neutral. The goal of the game is to shape the participants to become aware and more sensitive regarding the importance of sustainable energy and working together. The game is professionally designed and available for use at a variety of events. For more information, check here.


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