Collaborative Systems Modeling for Complex Energy Infrastructure: The Case of the Cape and Islands Collaborative Regional Energy Planning

Ali Mostashari

Large-scale energy planning processes involve a large number of stakeholders with varying technical backgrounds, who nevertheless need to be involved. Given the complexity of the decision-support models that could take into consideration both the technical design of the energy system as well as its impacts on the regional economy, environment and social system, there is a need for a systems methodology that can serve as a collaborative modeling platform that can both capture stakeholder knowledge and concerns and at the same time lend itself to quantification. Using a Stakeholder Assisted Modeling and Policy Design (SAM-PD) methodology, the author facilitated the collaborative planning process for the energy future of the Cape and the Islands together with representatives of 22 stakeholder organizations. The resulting systems model has helped the participants in the planning process to gain a holistic view of the complex system and its inherent feedback loops and behavioral dynamics and can serve as a basis for exploring different options with regards to a variety of attributes of concern to the stakeholders.

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