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The Influence of Social Preferences on Multi-Criteria Evaluation of Energy Scenarios

Listed author(s):
  • Omann, Ines

    ()

    (Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI))

  • Kowalski, Katharina

    ()

    (Bundesministerium fuer Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft)

  • Bohunovsky, Lisa

    ()

    (Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI))

  • Madlener, Reinhard

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Stagl, Sigrid

    ()

    (SPRU-Science and Technology Policy Research)

Participatory multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) is increasingly used for the integrated assessment of future scenarios. Determining weights of the different criteria constitutes one of the biggest challenges of MCE. This paper investigates the influence of weights on the ranking of scenarios and reflects critically on the use of weights as representations of social preferences in participatory MCE. Conceptually, this exercise builds on the literature on integrated assessment and decision making under uncertainty; empirically, insights are drawn from two case studies of renewable energy scenario assessment for Austria at the national and local level. The analysis exhibits a robust ranking for the local level, especially for the highest ranked scenarios. In the national case study, the analysis finds two robust scenario clusters which never switch ranks, whereas the ranking of the scenarios within the clusters flips with minor alters in weights. This paper argues that in participatory MCE different sets of stakeholders' priorities can be taken into account in a transparent and robust manner. The discussion explores inhowfar weights represent social preferences better than direct ranking of alternative scenarios by stakeholders on the basis of scenario presentations.

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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 3/2008.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2008_003
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  1. Madlener, Reinhard & Kowalski, Katharina & Stagl, Sigrid, 2007. "New ways for the integrated appraisal of national energy scenarios: The case of renewable energy use in Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6060-6074, December.
  2. Giuseppe Munda, 2003. "Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation (SMCE)," UHE Working papers 2003_04, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  3. Kowalski, Katharina & Stagl, Sigrid & Madlener, Reinhard & Omann, Ines, 2009. "Sustainable energy futures: Methodological challenges in combining scenarios and participatory multi-criteria analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(3), pages 1063-1074, September.
  4. Funtowicz, Silvio O. & Ravetz, Jerome R., 1994. "The worth of a songbird: ecological economics as a post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 197-207, August.
  5. Mareschal, Bertrand, 1988. "Weight stability intervals in multicriteria decision aid," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 54-64, January.
  6. Madlener, Reinhard & Neustadt, Ilja & Zweifel, Peter, 2008. "Promoting Renewable Electricity Generation in Imperfect Markets: Price vs. Quantity Policies," FCN Working Papers 1/2008, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Nov 2011.
  7. Madlener, Reinhard & Wenk, Christioph, 2008. "Efficient Investment Portfolios for the Swiss Electricity Supply Sector," FCN Working Papers 2/2008, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  8. Figueira, Jose & Roy, Bernard, 2002. "Determining the weights of criteria in the ELECTRE type methods with a revised Simos' procedure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 317-326, June.
  9. Brans, J. P. & Vincke, Ph. & Mareschal, B., 1986. "How to select and how to rank projects: The method," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 228-238, February.
  10. Max-Neef, Manfred A., 2005. "Foundations of transdisciplinarity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 5-16, April.
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