Within the last decades, environmental problems associated with fossil and nuclear power production and utilization have become manifest and require remedial actions to be taken. The development of renewable energy sources (res) seems to provide a promising alternative for a sustainable approach to energy utilization. However, the diffusion of res faces a number of economic, institutional, social and technical obstacles. In this paper it is argued that a novel planning framework that combines, in a structured way, integrated assessment (ia), transition management (tm), and multi-criteria analysis (mca) could aid a potential transition towards a more sustainable energy system with a significant res contribution. After highlighting the major features of these frameworks and their interconnections, we provide insights relevant to the main structural elements of the new frame. Innovative aspects include the time varying nature of the weights of the evaluation criteria, the integration of different temporal and spatial scales into the analysis, the appropriate treatment of uncertainty, the involvement of a diverse audience of decision-makers (dms) with different values and preferences and the incorporation of learning elements. A case study is used to disclose the ramifications of the proposed approach.