The Groningen Energy Summer School - Yes In My Backyard, 17-25 August 2017, The Netherlands

Publish Date: Jan 27, 2017

Deadline: Mar 15, 2017

About the summer school 

The Groningen Energy Summer School (GESS) 2017 takes an interdisciplinary approach to the societal and technological dimensions of the energy transition. By combining a broad range of disciplines, this event will offer a unique opportunity to PhD students to become aware of different aspects of energy transition, to develop novel insights, and to create synergy in approaches to the energy transition. The participants will attend lectures by specialists in the field, present their own and each other’s work, and play an active role in the discussions.

This 6th summer school in a highly successful series discusses energy transition ‘in your own backyard’. In the fossil fuel based energy system citizens and local companies play a passive role as consumers of fuels, gas and electricity. Renewables challenge this in multiple ways. The implications of renewable production tend to be contested, often in ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) terms. Alternatively, households, companies and communities gain new opportunities to produce their own energy as active prosumers. This holds promises both in the Global North and in the South for ‘yes in my backyard’ (YIMBY) developments.

The existing energy system has to adapt. Most renewable technologies depend on a high number of relatively small production sites, while bottom-up initiatives create new institutional networks ranging from cooperatives to local energy companies. Grid operators, energy companies and governments have to adapt as is illustrated by the development of smart grids, new buffering technologies and changing energy regulations.

GESS 2017 highlights local perspectives on global energy transition. We will be sensitive to the wide range of ‘backyards’ around the globe, addressing differences between urban and rural areas across the world. How to map today’s and tomorrow’s energy landscapes? How are opportunities evaluated by companies and (local) governments? How do local changes interact with global institutional, financial and corporate decision-making?

By interaction between natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, the humanities, economics and law unique new insights will emerge, as the previous Energy Summer Schools have demonstrated.

Apply now

The deadline for application is 15 March 2017.

Please submit the following documents with your application:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Proof of current enrollment at a university
  • Transcript of records
  • Photo
  • Copy of passport/ID


17 - 25 August 2017
Deadline for application: 15 March 2017

Level - PhD

Organizing Committee

  • Prof. Jaap de Wilde
  • Dr. Christian Zuidema
  • Dr. Anne Beaulieu
  • Yara Marusyk
  • Agha Bayramov


€ 400 (excluding accommodation)
€ 700 (including accommodation)


Level requirements

This summer school is intended for PhD candidates / students.

Language requirements

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the

Course Information


The summer school programme will start on 17 August 2017 and will end on 25 August 2017.
We recommend participants to arrive before 3PM on Wednesday 16 August, so they can participate in the city tour and welcoming drinks that day.


  • Getting from NIMBY to YIMBY with Social Impact Assessment - Professor Frank Vanclay, University of Groningen
  • Urban Geopolitics and Energy Transition - Professor Jaap de Wilde, University of Groningen
  • Co-creating New Energy Systems - Dr. Anne Beaulieu, Energysense, University of Groningen
  • Integrated Energy Landscapes: Giving the Energy Transition a Place - Dr. Chris Zuidema, University of Groningen
  • Methods for Research on Bottom-up Initiatives in Energy: Participatory Action Research - Dr. Louise Meijering, University of Groningen
  • A Nordic Transition to Electric Mobility: Sociotechnical Barriers and Future Expectations - Dr. Johannes Kester, Centre for Energy Technologies, Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Responsible Innovation Across Epistemological and Ontological Boundaries: the Case of Production of Biogas in Rural India - Dr. Govert Valkenburg, Department of Technology and Society Studies, Maastricht University
  • Title TBA - Dr. Dolf Gielen, Innovation and Technology Center, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
  • The Power of PV - Professor Kees Hummelen, University of Groningen
  • Title TBA – Max van den Berg, Honorary Professor of Global Governance and Sustainable Livelihood, University of Groningen
  • Title TBA – Professor André Faaij, Energy Academy Europe, University of Groningen
  • Title TBA - Dr. Killian McCarthy, University of Groningen

More lectures will be announced soon.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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