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

FCN Working Paper No. 3/2008

39 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by Ines Omann

Ines Omann

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ (Leipzig)

Katharina Kowalski

Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft

Lisa Bohunovsky

Sustainable Europe Research Institute

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University

Sigrid Stagl

Vienna University of Economics & Business Administ

Date Written: August 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: social preferences, participatory multi-criteria evaluation, renewable energy, scenario analysis, sustainable energy systems

Suggested Citation

Omann, Ines and Kowalski, Katharina and Bohunovsky, Lisa and Madlener, Reinhard and Stagl, Sigrid, The Influence of Social Preferences on Multi-Criteria Evaluation of Energy Scenarios (August 2008). FCN Working Paper No. 3/2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1620466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1620466

Ines Omann

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ (Leipzig) ( email )

Permoserstraße 15
Leipzig, 04318
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ufz.de

Katharina Kowalski

Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft

Abteilungen V/10
Stubenbastei 5
Vienna, 1010
Austria

Lisa Bohunovsky

Sustainable Europe Research Institute

Garnisongasse 7/21
Vienna, 1090
Austria

Reinhard Madlener (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

Sigrid Stagl

Vienna University of Economics & Business Administ ( email )

Augasse 2-6
Althanstrasse 51
A-1090 Wien
Austria
43-1-31336-4459 (Phone)
43-1-31336-735 (Fax)

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