Stakeholder engagement and multi-criteria decision aiding in the electricity transmission grid reinforcement: evidence from a role-playing game

<p>In many countries, any substantial increase in the share of renewable energy will require a reinforcement of the electricity transmission grid. We examine the value added by Multi-Criteria Decision Aiding (MCDA), which may support decisions on corridor alternatives for grid reinforcement by including stakeholder preferences. We present the results of a role-playing game to verify whether stakeholders can agree on a priority ranking of criteria for MCDA and whether this agreement can foster acceptance for the outcome of the process. Our results show that agreement among participants on criteria ranking during a <i>common</i> elicitation of the importance of criteria is significantly related to acceptance of the outcome as provided by the MCDA. Additionally, this method creates a common ground for generating acceptable solutions for subsequent steps in planning transmission lines. Our findings suggest that MCDA may generate higher stakeholder acceptance through the common and active inclusion of different actors in grid planning decisions.</p>