Model-based policymaking or policy-based modelling?


We are glad to inform you that our scientific article “Model-based policymaking or policy-based modelling? How energy models and energy policy interact” has been published in the Elsevier’s “Energy Research and Social Science” peer-reviewed journal.

As energy models become more and more powerful, they are increasingly used to support energy policymaking. Although modelling has been used for policy advice for many years, there is little knowledge about how computer-based models actually influence policymaking, and to what extent policymakers influence the modelling process.

In our article we empirically investigate (i). whether, how and when models influence the policy-making process, and (ii). whether, how and when policymakers influence the design, use and results of energy modelling. We analysed modelling and policy documents and conducted 32 interviews with different stakeholder groups in 5 different European jurisdictions.

o We find that models influence policymaking, but we also show that policymakers influence models and modellers. Hence, energy modelling and policymaking influence each other. In their exploratory mode, models can help investigate policy options and ambitious target setting. However, models can also be instrumentalised to justify already decided policies and targets.

o Our study implies that greater transparency, including open-source code and open data, and transdisciplinary elements in modelling could increase model legitimacy and impact in policymaking.

You can check out our article here.