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An agent-based model for energy investment decisions in the residential sector

Author:
Sachs, Julia, Meng, Yiming, Giarola, Sara, Hawkes, Adam
Source:
Energy 2019 v.172 pp. 752-768
ISSN:
0360-5442
Subject:
buildings, capital, carbon, case studies, consumer behavior, decision making, energy efficiency, markets, models, United Kingdom
Abstract:
Energy-related investment decisions in the buildings sector are heterogeneous in that the outcome for each individual varies according to budget, values, and perception of a technology, even if an apparently identical decision task is faced. In particular, the rate of adoption of new energy-efficient technologies is often hard to model and underlines the need for an advanced approach to capture diversity in decision-making, and enable the inclusion of economic, comfort, environmental and social aspects. This paper presents an enhanced agent-based model that captures several characteristics of consumer behaviour that influence investment decisions. Multiple agents with different objectives, search strategies, and decision methods are implemented. A case study is presented which illustrates the benefits of the approach for the residential sector in the UK. The agent-based method shows diversity in investment decisions, without requiring the constraints on uptake needed in many models. This leads to a range of technologies in the market during a transition phase, continuous investment in low capital cost technologies, and eventually the emergence of a low carbon system based on new mass market technologies. The system that emerges is vastly different from one observed when economically rational investment is assumed and uptake constraints are applied.
Agid:
6303551