Three characteristics are central to the approach:
- the distinction of the model's building blocks into functional and structural elements;
- their hierarchical organisation and
- the description of nexus patterns at each level, through the tool of the processor
To illustrate the model, it is applied to Catalonia's energy sector, linking production and consumption patterns. The framework may help inform stakeholder deliberation on pressing energy and nexus issues. The hierarchical mapping from primary energy sources, to the technologies harnessing them, to their function in society may help in guiding discussions of energy futures.
The energy model introduced in this paper proposes a technique to choose appropriate levels of aggregation in the complex energy system, based on the grouping of structural elements into functional ones. In this way, the hierarchical organisation of energy systems is used to simplify their representation and their relation to other nexus elements, while avoiding an excessive loss of relevant information. The strength of the model lies across two domains:
- The first is in the domain of energetics, contributing to a shift in the field towards inter-disciplinarity, by describing functional elements of the energy system through nexus patterns
- Secondly, at the science-policy interface, the model may be used as a heuristic tool to inform decision-making, moving away from a paradigm of science speaking truth to power, and towards the co-production of knowledge among scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders.
Science Direct (open access)
Science Direct, Energy Policy, Volume 126, Pages 431-443