Advancing participatory energy systems modelling
- Type of publication:Journal Article
- Date of publication:March 2024
- Author/s:Connor McGookin, Diana Süsser, Georgios Xexakis, Evelina Trutnevyte, Will McDowall, Alexandros Nikas, Konstantinos Koasidis, Sheridan Few, Per Dannemand Andersen, Christina Demski, Patrícia Fortes, Sofia G. Simoes, Christopher Bishop, Fionn Rogan, Brian Ó Gallachóir
Energy system models are important tools to guide our understanding of current and future carbon dioxide emissions as well as to inform strategies for emissions reduction. These models offer a vital evidence base that increasingly underpins energy and climate policies in many countries. In light of this important role in policy formation, there is growing interest in, and demands for, energy modellers to integrate more diverse perspectives on possible and preferred futures into the modelling process. The main purpose of this is to ensure that the resultant policy decisions are both fairer and better reflect people’s concerns and preferences. However, while there has been a focus in the literature on efforts to bring societal dimensions into modelling tools, there remains a limited number of examples of well-structured participatory energy systems modelling processes and no available how-to guidance. This paper addresses this gap by providing good practice guidance for integrating stakeholder and public involvement in energy systems modelling based on the reflections of a diverse range of experts from this emergent field. The framework outlined in this paper offers multiple entry points for modellers to incorporate participatory elements either throughout the process or in individual stages. Recognising the messiness of both fields (energy systems modelling and participatory research), the good practice principles are not comprehensive or set in stone, but rather pose important questions to steer this process. Finally, the reflections on key issues provide a summary of the crucial challenges and important areas for future research in this critical field.