A review of social aspects integration in system dynamics energy systems models

Main Article Content

Alaize Dall-Orsoletta
Mauricio Uriona-Maldonado
Géremi Dranka
Paula Ferreira


The problem of techno-economic approaches to evaluating energy transition pathways has been constantly reported in the literature. Existing research recognises the critical role played by social aspects in energy systems models. System dynamics (SD) has been pointed out among modelling techniques as a suitable tool to evaluate the interdisciplinary nature of energy transitions. This paper explores how energy system-related SD models have incorporated social aspects through a literature review. Models were assessed based on their geographical resolution, time horizon, methodological approach, and main themes: supply-demand, energy-economy-environment (3E), energy-transport, water-energy-food (WEF) nexus, and consumer-centric and socio-political dynamics. Social aspects considered include behaviour and lifestyle changes, social acceptance, willingness to participate, socio-economic measures, among others. As expected, the representation of social aspects was not standard among the papers analysed. Socio-economic aspects were most commonly included in supply-demand and 3E models. Energy-transport and WEF models mainly incorporated changes in travel and consumption habits, respectively. The last theme had a more diverse approach to social aspects that deserves further attention, especially for energy access and justice issues. Other research lines include modelling approaches combination, enhanced participatory and transparent processes during model development, and use of SD models in policy-aiding and stakeholders’ information processes.

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How to Cite
Dall-Orsoletta, A., Uriona-Maldonado , M., Dranka, G., & Ferreira, P. (2022). A review of social aspects integration in system dynamics energy systems models. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 36, 33–52. https://doi.org/10.54337/ijsepm.7478