Local energy planning in the built environment: An analysis of model characteristics

Kathelijne Bouw, Carina Wiekens, Klaas Jan Noorman, André Faaij

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Energy planning in the built environment increasingly takes place in local settings. Suitable planning models should therefore be able to capture local dynamics, such as stakeholder behaviour, resource availability and building characteristics. In relation to the key challenges of energy transition in the built environment, building efficiency and renewable heating, little attention has been paid to the model characteristics needed to address these challenges. This paper analyses the characteristics of available models from the scientific community and the professional practice. Secondly, the paper reviews modelling approaches for integrating social factors within techno-economic models, as many local dynamics have a non-technical nature. Based on the gaps identified in the analysis, an analytical framework is proposed for local energy planning models for the built environment. Building characteristics, social context factors, temporal dynamics and spatial characteristics have been identified as key building blocks for a new modelling approach. To be able to deal with the socio-technical context, an integrated, socio-technical approach is suggested. This model collaboration, consisting of model calculations and empirical and participatory methods, will be capable of better supporting decision-making in a local, multistakeholder
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2021


  • energy systems modelling
  • local energy planning
  • built environment
  • renewable heating
  • integrated scenarios
  • socio-technical approach


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