Consideration of myopic technological knowledge in long-term energy demand modelling
In order to face the challenge of energy system transformation within the next 20 to 40 years the increase of energy efficiency on the demand side is known to be the most significant driver. Bottom-up based energy-economic models are a tool often applied to analyze energy demand ex ante with a high level of detail. However, because of limited knowledge about the long-term technological progress, the applicability of this approach is restricted for long-term modelling horizons. The objective of this paper is to consider technology myopia in long-term energy demand modelling in the residential sector using a newly developed methodological concept that consists of a combination of three well-established approaches utilized in futurology: bottom-up, top-down and patent-based modelling. In contrast to other studies that integrate the advantages of different modelling approaches within one energy model, this concept couples the bottom-up and the top-down model chronologically, including patents as indicators of innovation to consider the myopic technological knowledge . The concept will be applied to the German residential sector in terms of two explorative long-term scenarios and an associated sensitivity analysis up to 2050 to analyze the energy efficiency potentials. Overall, the analysis highlights technological myopia as a key limitation of bottom-up methodology when calculating long-term energy scenarios for the residential sector. For some energy-using appliances (e.g. information and communication end uses) bottom-up based projections are merely just possible for short-term horizons (<10 years). To emphasize the added value of the concept, the discussion focuses on aspects regarding result interpretation and methodological issues.