Energy models support decision- and policymakers who have to decide on decarbonization strategies and energy policy options. However, energy models are often not geared to the needs of the users. Hence, despite increasing methodological sophistication and rapidly growing detail, the usefulness of models as advice and policy support tools may be limited because they do not take into account all user issues.
The SENTINEL Deliverable 1.2 “User needs for an energy system modeling platform for the European energy transition” identifies needs of energy modellers and users of modelling outcomes in policy, industry, civil society, and science, both in the present and future. Based on a comprehensive literature review, qualitative interviews in five European jurisdictions, a survey, and a workshop, we identify what different user groups need from energy models: What types of questions, input, and results are useful to them? We also identify user needs regarding the modeling platform of SENTINEL: How do we need to define such a platform to make it worthwhile for potential users?
Although decision-makers use energy models as support tools, existing models do not always provide the necessary information. We find several unmet user needs regarding (i). model content, (ii). model design and data, (iii). modeling process, and (iv). model outreach.