Energy system models are advancing rapidly. However, it is not clear whether models are becoming better, in the sense that they address the questions that decision-makers need answered to make well-informed decisions. Therefore, we investigate the gap between model improvements relevant from the perspective of modellers compared to what users of model results think models should address. Thus, we ask: What are the differences between energy model improvements as perceived by modellers, and the actual needs of users of model results? To answer this question, we conducted a literature review, 32 interviews, and an online survey. Our results show that user needs and ongoing improvements of energy system models align to a large degree, so that future models are indeed likely to be better than current models. We also find mismatches between the needs of modellers and users, especially in modelling of social, behavioural and political aspects, the trade-off between model complexity and understandability, and the ways that model results should be communicated. Our findings suggest that a better understanding of user needs and closer cooperation between modellers and users is imperative to truly improve models and unlock their full potential to support the transition towards climate neutrality in Europe.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Academic Articles
Süsser, D., Gaschnig, H., Ceglarz, A., Stavrakas, V., Flamos, A., & Lilliestam, J. (2022). Better suited or just more complex? On the fit between user needs and modeller-driven improvements of energy system models. Energy, 239(Part B): 121909. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2021.121909.
- Staff involved
- Projects involved
- The Transition to a Renewable Electricity System and its Interactions with Other Policy Aims (TRIPOD) The Sustainable Energy Transition Laboratory (SENTINEL)