Integrating methods and empirical findings from social and behavioural sciences into energy system models - motivation and possible approaches
The transformation of the energy system is a highly complex process involving many dimensions. Energy system models help to understand the process and to define either target systems or policy measures. Insights derived from the social sciences are not sufficiently represented in energy system models, but address crucial aspects of the transformation process. It is, therefore, necessary to develop approaches to integrate results from social science studies into energy system models. Hence, as a result of an interdisciplinary discourse among energy system modellers, social scientists, psychologists, economists and political scientists, this article explains which aspects should be considered in the models, how the respective results can be collected and which aspects of integration into energy system models are conceivable to provide an overview for other modellers. As a result of the discourse, five facets are examined: Investment behaviour (market acceptance), user behaviour, local acceptance, technology innovation and socio-political acceptance. Finally, an approach is presented that introduces a compound of energy system models (with a focus on the macro and micro-perspective) as well as submodels on technology genesis and socio-political acceptance, which serves to gain a more fundamental knowledge of the transformation process.