Renewable energy resources and local potential for a real “sustainable” development: a multi-criteria decision process. Case studies from TER.R.E. project

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In the last decades, the discussion about Renewable Energy Sources (RES) has been involved and integrated in many fields of studies. However, the discussion and integration of RES has been considered without critics and context considerations, producing a wrong belief, namely that the implementation of RES project is positive by definition. In that way it is believed that the mere production of Renewable Energies automatically brings development, forgetting that “sustainable” development is based on environmental, social and economic factors, connected and calibrated on local territories and their potential in producing RES. Thus, considering the relationship between RES and local framework and potential must be a priority, before adopting and implementing some RES projects or policies. Despite, all this is recognized and supported by the scientific community and European Union, the awareness and capacity to adopt multiple integrated criteria is not fully understood by decision makers and stakeholders, who are in charge of translating the general concept of local sustainable development into praxis. This paper aims at discussing the multi-criteria decision model developed in TER.R.E. project (TERritory, eneRgy & Employment), built on the comparative analysis between 11 case study areas from 8 South East European Countries. The model’s indicators, selected by the decision makers involved in the process, are compared with those found in the literature and commonly used for sustainability assessment. Considering the decision makers’ preferences, it emerges that the integrated and multiple vision on which sustainability is composed is not perceived by decision makers. On the contrary, their vision on sustainable development is anchored to pre-conceived pure economic perception on energy production.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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