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Integrating Behavioural Aspects in Energy System Modelling—A Review

David Huckebrink () and Valentin Bertsch ()
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David Huckebrink: Energy Systems and Energy Economics, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany

Energies, 2021, vol. 14, issue 15, 1-26

Abstract: Many countries worldwide have adopted policies to support the expansion of renewable energy sources aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combating climate change, and, more generally, establishing a globally sustainable energy system. As a result, energy systems around the world are undergoing a process of fundamental change and transformation that goes far beyond the technological dimension. While energy system models have been developed and used for several decades to support decision makers in governments and companies, these models usually focus on the techno-economic dimension, whereas they fall short in addressing and considering behavioural and societal aspects of decisions related to technology acceptance, adoption, and use. In fact, it is often the societal dimension that comes with the greatest challenges and barriers when it comes to making such a socio-technical transformation happen in reality. This paper therefore provides an overview of state-of-the-art energy system models on the one hand and research studying behavioural aspects in the energy sector on the other hand. We find that these are two well-developed fields of research but that they have not yet been integrated sufficiently well to provide answers to the many questions arising in the context of complex socio-technical transformation processes of energy systems. While some promising approaches integrating these two fields can be identified, the total number is very limited. Based on our findings, research gaps and potentials for improvement of both energy system models and behavioural studies are derived. We conclude that a stronger collaboration across disciplines is required.

Keywords: sustainable energy system; energy system transformation; energy system model; consumer behaviour; societal acceptance; technology adoption and use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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