Multicriteria evaluation and public participation: The case of UK energy policy

Sigrid Stagl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Decision making about different energy supply options while aiming for sustainable development is a complex task. Environmental, social and economic goals need to be taken into account. At the same time, energy supply is a topic of high public interest. At times of increased emphasis on accountability and public participation, governments tend to give increased consideration to the values of the general public for and against various electricity generation techniques. A case study of UK energy policy illustrates this new interest in public participation. However, the complexity of the question and the urge for public involvement pose a challenge for decision support. Multicriteria evaluation proves useful as it structures problem formulation, makes use of the best available information while enhancing transparency and facilitating deliberation. This paper illustrates the use of multicriteria evaluation for decision making about energy policy by use of public participation and discusses social learning in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy supply
  • Multicriteria evaluation
  • Public participation
  • Public policy
  • Social learning

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