Capturing behavior in the energy transition

Capturing behaviour in the energy transition is increasingly important as actors at all levels need to take action. Policies on energy behaviour could benefit strongly from behavioural insights. Unfortunately, research that could provide these insights is often discipline-specific and fragmented, making it hard to use. At TPM, we study different types of behaviour on multiple levels from a variety of scientific disciplines. For example, conscious, individual behaviour is often approached from an ethical perspective. Whereas collective, automatic behaviour is often approached from an (institutional) economy or social perspective.

In this research theme, we aim to integrate research perspectives, methods, tools, and analyses from different scientific disciplines to capture and explain a broad range of behaviour of multiple actors in the energy transition to increase the (short-term and long-term) effectiveness of energy-transition policies.

Design of the energy transition

Designing the energy transition, in terms of ‘comprehensive engineering’ is fundamental for the functioning of our society in the coming decades. However, no comprehensive methods exist to come to appropriate designs of such complex, large/multi-scale, multi-carrier, multi-actor, multi-infrastructure, value-laden systems. Very many socio-technical scenarios are feasible under different sets of assumptions. Different kinds of uncertainties (policy, decision, systemic, normative etc.) limit, on a fundamental level, what comprehensive designs are ‘good’. “It depends”, no longer suffices, we need to be precise and specific about what are promising strategies for the energy transition.

In this research theme, we aim to integrate quantitative methods and data in a multi-modelling design framework. These methods are all present at TPM but so far, developed in silos. This framework, including the supporting tools (hardware, software), enable us to set up, execute, and study testable designs that integrates those methods and perspectives on the energy transition. This leads to data and model-driven design approach. By doing this systematically, best practices for design in socio-technical systems are extracted.

Open exploration of the energy transition

The energy transition is a long and tedious process, but it also is known for its quickly changing questions and short windows opportunities. We aim to provide unique opportunities for a diverse set of activities to act upon questions and important ideas at an unprecedented pace within the context of university research. For this, we aim to provide seeding that generates and keeps momentum that may emerge in the coming years.

In this research theme, we aim to enable an open exploration of the energy transition by building a transition playground. We aim to support a broad set of high-risk activities – in a safe environment – that act on rapid developments and opportunities or build connections in the faculty of TPM. We invite the faculty researchers and students calling for proposals for any type of activity that fits TPM Energy Transition Lab’s mission.