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“Socio-political merit order”: Ecofys, a Navigant company, proposes new approach to energy modelling

Published: 19/04/2018

In a new paper, Ecofys, a Navigant company, introduces a “socio-political merit order” for developing energy and climate strategies. While most of today’s energy modelling is based on least-cost optimisation, the energy experts suggest a new approach that takes societal and political preferences into greater consideration.

Expanding current modelling by non-financial merits would enable policymakers to identify the options and technologies with the greatest societal backing. Those preferred options are most likely to gain the biggest momentum, and thus most likely to accelerate implementation and make a difference over the next 2-3 decades.

Ecofys, a Navigant company, defines the socio-political merit order as a set of societal and political attitudes of differing intensity (e.g. financial cost, environmental impact, employment effect, perceived risk and trust). The challenge lies in interpreting its individual components and determining the socio-political merit order correctly.

As a dynamic concept which may vary over time or from country to country, the social-political merit order could play a vital role in advancing energy and climate visions and strategies.