Adopting multiactor multicriteria analysis for the evaluation of energy scenarios

The assessment of future options and pathways for sustainable energy systems requires considering multiple techno-economic, ecological and social issues. Multicriteria analysis methods, which are useful tools that aid decision processes involving various and even conflicting qualitative and quantitative criteria, could support such comprehensive analyses. With regard to energy policies, the key actors and stakeholders’ acceptance of emerging and innovative technologies for generating, converting and storing electricity, heat and fuels is crucial for their future implementation. The multiactor multicriteria (MAMCA) methodology was developed to involve stakeholders with vastly different views and objectives when addressing complex societal problems. We extend the MAMCA methodology to include the outranking approach PROMETHEE, which allows us to explicitly consider the stakeholders’ objectives in the evaluation process. The MAMCA method with PROMETHEE is applied to a case study of four different transition pathways of providing electricity to a bioenergy village in Germany. The explicit mapping at hand of an illustrative case study could help researchers and decision makers greatly in the assessment of pathways for sustainable energy systems; it is also applicable in other contexts requiring extensive stakeholder involvement and where qualitative and quantitative criteria are to be considered simultaneously. The detailed sensitivity analysis provided by the extension of the MAMCA method with PROMETHEE not only reveals the stakeholders’ crucial trade-offs when allowing each stakeholder group to develop its own set of criteria and weights but also indicates compromise options.


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