Integration of the GMM model and MCDA

The global energy system is under transition and society is confronted with related challenges such as improving access to affordable energy for economic development, reducing environmental impacts of energy use, and maintaining energy security. The challenges can be allocated to the three pillars of sustainability being economy, environment and society. Its key message is that the development of an affordable, fair and environmentally sound future energy system is associated with trade-offs related to partially opposing goals. Energy policy-making thus requires weighting and balancing of the pillars of sustainability to guide the energy system into a more sustainable future.

To support the challenging task of policy-making for energy systems, various analytical tools and methodologies have been developed, such as Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and Energy-economic System Modelling. MCDA considers various indicators for single energy technologies or processes, but no full energy systems. Energy-economic system models instead include the whole energy system but are currently limited to technical and cost criteria only.

The goal of this work is to find, evaluate, extend and apply methods for decision-support in the context of the energy system transformation. In particular, combinations of energy system modelling and multi-criteria sustainability assessment are addressed. Such an approach combines the system-wide perspective of energy-economic system models with the variety of indicators considered in multi-criteria assessments, and therefore allows for more comprehensive and more complete insights for energy policy-making than with each method on its own.


Schematic of the integration of the sustainability indicators in the GMM model

Volkart K., Weidmann-Ordóñez N., Bauer C., Hirschberg S. (2017). Multi-criteria decision analysis of energy system transformation pathways: A case study for Switzerland, Energy Policy, Vol. 106, pp. 155–168, DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.026
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Volkart K. (2016). Integration of Energy System Modelling and Multi-criteria Analysis, Frontiers in Energy Research, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, Presentation

Volkart K., Mutel C. (2015). Integrating LCI Data and Energy System Modelling, LCM 2015, Bordeaux, France, Poster

Volkart K. (2015). Integrating Global Energy-economic System Modelling and Life-cycle Assessment, wholeSEM Annual Conference 2015, Cambridge, UK, Poster

Volkart K. (2015). Integrating LCA and Scenario Modelling of the Energy System for Sustainable Policy-making, SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting, Barcelona, Spain, Presentation

Volkart K. (2014). Development of a New Methodology for the Integration of LCA and Energy-Economic System Modelling, LCA XIV, San Francisco, USA, Presentation

Volkart K., Weidmann N., Bauer C. (2014). Integrating LCA, Scenario Modelling and Multi-criteria Decision Analysis for Sustainable Policy-Making in the Energy Sector, SETAC Europe 24th Annual Meeting, Basel, Switzerland, Presentation

Volkart K. (2013). Towards integration of energy-economic modelling and life-cycle assessment, 5th SAEE Student Chapter Workshop, Zurich, Switzerland, Presentation