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Energy blog: Nexus-e and modeling for policymakers

Computational models can provide technical analysis to objectively evaluate the impact of energy policies. But why are they rarely used in public policymaking? Unclear quality of the input, non-transparent methodology, lack of validation, neglecting behavioural irrationality, and oversimplification are some of the barriers. Nexus-e makes a first step to tackle these challenges.

Marius Schwarz, project manager of Nexus-e, published an article on the Energy Blog discussing the role of computational models in policymaking.

In this article, Marius raised the questions:

When computational models can evaluate the impact of policies objectively, why are they rarely used in public policymaking? What are the challenges of using model-based scenarios, and how can we address the mistrust in scientific models?

He argued that reasons include:

  • The quality of the model inputs is not always guaranteed.
  • Models are often “black boxes”.
  • Models often lack extensive validation.
  • Models typically neglect behavioural irrationality.
  • Models tend to oversimplify reality.

To overcome these limitations, Nexus-e is built based on the principles of transparency, modularity, and predefined interfaces. With these principles, it is envisioned to facilitate the integration of model-based scenarios into societal discussions and public policymaking.