Headline: Model development to match ENVIRO, QTDIAN and ATOM to user needs. Deliverable 2.4. Sustainable Energy Transitions Laboratory (SENTINEL) project

Although energy models advance rapidly in terms of technical and techno-economic details, social and political aspects and environmental burdens beyond greenhouse gas emissions are currently underrepresented. However, in light of the European Green Deal and the EU Energy Union Strategy, models must advance in terms of social and environmental considerations to support decision- and policymakers in adequately addressing that environmental burden and to put “citizens at its core” of the energy transition. In this deliverable, we present key user-needs for environmental and social aspects that need to be better represented in energy system models (Section 2), and how we have developed and adapted the modelling tools ENVIRO, QTDIAN, and ATOM in response to the identified user needs. We show three main user needs regarding social aspects, specifically (i) social impacts on energy politics and policies, (ii) the social acceptance of energy technologies and infrastructure, and (iii) consumers’ behavior in energy models. We furthermore show that users consider relevant the following factors within the environmental aspects of energy scenarios: (iv) demand of raw materials/ circularity, (v) the implications on nature and biodiversity, as well as (vi) full life-cycle impacts and externalization. ENVIRO and QTDIAN are being developed within SENTINEL in a participatory process by engaging with stakeholders in the information and development stages of the model implementation. In contrast, ATOM is adapted by considering user-needs especially in the implementation stage. We conclude that we have benefited from the insights of model users and other stakeholders, and that this will allow us to make our modelling tools fit-for-purpose. All three modelling tools will support decision-makers by answering the most important of the questions users have risen within the SENTINEL stakeholder engagement process. Model-linking within the WP2 and other WPs will ensure that the understanding of environmental and social aspects is strengthened in energy system models and will be embedded in the overall SENTINEL platform.


Madrid-López, C., Süsser, D., Stavrakas, V., Lilliestam, J., Flamos, A., Peiró, L. T., & Martin, N.(2021). Model development to match ENVIRO, QTDIAN and ATOM to user needs. Deliverable 2.4. Sustainable Energy Transitions Laboratory (SENTINEL) project. Potsdam: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS).

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