The increasing demand for renewable energy policies stems from European climate targets and evolving geopolitical energy strategies. Interregional collaboration in the sphere of renewable energy engenders amplified energy capacity, diminished societal costs, and augments both stability and flexibility. The prospect of interregional energy initiatives presents itself prominently within the border region between Flanders and the Netherlands. However, the optimal utilization of available space for renewable energy projects faces hurdles due to their cross-border nature. The disparity in land use policies between the Netherlands and Flanders further complicates matters. Presently, collaboration between the Netherlands and Flanders is hindered by differing policy visions, legislative frameworks, and financial support mechanisms for renewable energy.

This doctoral research investigates the legal, spatial and administrative impediments to interregional cooperation in renewable energy. Through a comparative analysis of four cases within the Dutch-Flemish border area designated as renewable acceleration zones, the potentials and barriers for interregional collaboration are examined. Stakeholders are identified, and their perspectives are gathered through qualitative inquiries. Based on these findings, prerequisites for energy exchange are identified to promote interregional energy integration.

The analysis of these cases, policy perspectives, and barriers leads to a series of policy recommendations directed at competent authorities to foster capacity building in these border regions.

Researcher: Jessica De Doncker
Promotor: Tom Coppens (FOW)
Period: 2024-2027
Partners: Flux50, ODE, Provincie Antwerpen, POM Antwerpen, Treeport BCT BV, Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, POM Oost-Vlaanderen, Provincie Zeeland