Defining the stakeholder perspective in the project TransHyDE-Sys

The hydrogen flagship project TransHyDE is investigating the prospective hydrogen transport infrastructure in Germany. The research project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), began in April 2021 and brings together a consortium of over 50 members. The FfE is involved in the project as a member of the system analysis subgroup (TransHyDE Project Sys). The FfE’s work within TransHyDE-Sys is focused primarily, although not exclusively, on infrastructure development from the perspective of the stakeholders.

Developing a definition: What is the stakeholder perspective?

The analysis is preceded by a definition of the term “stakeholder perspective”. Distinguishing the stakeholder perspective from the system perspective is a particularly important aspect of the development of the definition. Infrastructure development from this system perspective is being researched in a separate work package in the TransHyDE-Sys project led by Fraunhofer IEE. This will enable the results of each perspective to be compared and contrasted with those of the other perspective, as well as combining the analyses from both perspectives to provide a multi-faceted view of infrastructure development.

The definition was developed in a multi-stage iterative process among the project participants of the second work package of TransHyDE-Sys.

In a first step, the FfE used the system perspective as a starting point for discussions regarding which characteristics make up the stakeholder perspective during an internal workshop. A further focus of the discussions was the identification of the various stakeholders within the different sectors and what characterizes them.

The definition developed in the internal workshop served as a basis for subsequent broader discussion with the partners involved in the project. Finally, the definition of the stakeholder perspective emerged from the discussion with industry and other research partners in a joint workshop.

Definition of the stakeholder perspective

We define the stakeholder perspective in the TransHyDE-Sys project as follows:

The stakeholder perspective in the context of the transformation of the energy system is characterized by different goals, motivations and resources of the involved and affected persons and institutions. The stakeholders* make decisions that further their own interests on the basis of the limited information available to them, with the aim of achieving an individual economic optimum under the given framework conditions.

*A stakeholder is a person who has the power to make decisions within the individual’s scope of action. This can be both a natural and a legal entity. If the same interests are pursued, an association of several persons can also constitute a stakeholder.