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Understanding the Current Energy Paradigm and Energy System Models for More Sustainable Energy System Development

Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik 101, Iceland, Sæmundargata 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Department of Economics, University of Clermont Auvergne, 63000 Clermont Ferrand, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(8), 1584;
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Economics and Policy)
PDF [327 KB, uploaded 26 April 2019]


This study contributes to a better understanding of where to place different energy modelling tools and support better decision-making related to the sustainable development of energy systems. It is argued that through the connection of the energy field and the field of sustainable development, the current energy paradigm—encompassing economic, environmental and social aspects—has emerged. This paper provides an analysis of different categories of existing energy system models and their ability to provide answers to questions arising from the current energy paradigm formulated within this study. The current energy paradigm and the relevant questions were defined by conducting conceptual framework analysis. The overarching question of the current paradigm asks how different energy pathways impact on the (sustainable) development of the energy system and overall (sustainable) development globally and nationally. A review of energy system models was conducted to analyse what questions of the current energy paradigm are addressed by which models. The results show that most models address aspects of the current energy paradigm but often in a simplified way. To answer some of the questions of the current energy paradigm in more depth and to get novel insights on sustainable energy system development, it might be necessary use complementary methods in addition to traditional energy modelling methodological approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy paradigm; sustainability; energy system models energy paradigm; sustainability; energy system models
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Spittler, N.; Gladkykh, G.; Diemer, A.; Davidsdottir, B. Understanding the Current Energy Paradigm and Energy System Models for More Sustainable Energy System Development. Energies 2019, 12, 1584.

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