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Publication Detail
Incorporating social mechanisms in energy decarbonisation modelling
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Verrier B, Li PH, Pye S, Strachan N
  • Publisher:
    Elsevier BV
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    154, 169
  • Journal:
    Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
  • Volume:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Socio-technical energy transitions, Energy system modelling, Heat decarbonisation, Social mechanisms, System dynamics
  • Notes:
    Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
The achievement of national pledges that are compatible with the Paris Agreements warming limit of 1.5C is a massive challenge, as it requires not only an acceleration of technological innovation, but also a socio-economic and cultural transformation. Reducing uncertainties demands a better integration of behavioural evolutions in models exploring future energy pathways, including non-monetary barriers and drivers to technology diffusion. This study provides suggestions on incorporating social mechanisms of change such as resistance to change and the diffusion of environmental values into a UK-focused probabilistic energy system model, with a focus on people's attitudes towards residential heating technologies. We also offer a comprehensive literature review on interdisciplinary energy transitions modelling and exploratory scenarios embedding climate risks perceptions. We argue that efficient policy-making to meeting net-zero emissions targets must fully embrace whole-system approaches, support the more constrained segments of society, and account for interconnected socio-political factors.
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