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Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation of Clean Heating System Adoption in Norway
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, Industrial Ecology Programme.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A sound climate policy encouraging clean energy investment is important to mitigate global warming. Previous research has demonstrated that consumer choice indeed plays an important role in adoption of sustainable technologies. This thesis strives to gain a better understanding of consumers’ decision-making on heating systems and to explore the potential application of agent-based modeling (ABM) in exploring mechanism underlying adoption in which heating system adoption by Norwegian households is taken up as a case study.

An interdisciplinary approach, applying various established theories including those of psychology, is applied to create a model for consumer behavior and implement this behavior in an Agent-Based Model (ABM) to simulate heating technology diffusion. A mail-survey, carried out in autumn 2008, is a means to collect information for parameterizing the agent-based model, for gaining empirical facts, and for validating the developed model at micro-level. Survey sample consisted of 1500 Norwegian households drawn from population register and 1500 wood pellet users in Norway. The response rates were 10.3% and 34.6% for population sample and wood pellet sample respectively. This study is divided into two parts; empirical analysis and agent-based simulation.

The empirical analysis aims at fully understanding the important aspects of adoptiondecision and their implications, in order to assist simulation. The analysis particularly contributes to the identification of differences/similarities between adopters and nonadopters of wood pellet heating with respects to some key points of adoption derived from different theories, psychological factors underlying the adoption-decision of wood pellet heating, and the rationales underlying Norwegian households’ decisions regarding their future heating system.

The simulation study aims at exploring the mechanism of heterogeneous household decision-making giving rise to the diffusion of heating systems, and at revealing potential interventions toward wood pellet heating in Norway. A methodological approach of coupling ABM with empirical research is introduced to develop a conceptual model capturing households’ adoption-decision processes which is parameterized with empirical data. Simulation results demonstrate that the generated data from simulation is reasonably able to generate independent historical data at both macro- and micro-levels. It indicates that the proposed methodology is promising.

As a whole, this thesis integrally addresses the study case using interdisciplinary perspective. The major contributions of the thesis lie in the inclusion of psychological factors, in addition to socio-demographic and technological factors, in adoption-decision, and the methodological proposal of coupling agent-based modeling (ABM) with empirical research and its application in the studied case.

Abstract [no]

En virksom klimapolitikk for å stimulere til investeringer i fornybar energi er viktig for å redusere global oppvarming. Tidligere studier har vist at valg gjort av forbrukere spiller en viktig rolle for utbredelsen av bærekraftige teknologier. Denne studien søker å bedre forståelsen av hvordan forbrukere tar beslutninger angående oppvarmingssystemer og å identifisere potensielle anvendelse av agent-basert modellering (ABM) i anvendelse og diffusjon av oppvarmingssystemer. Anvendelse og diffusjon av oppvarmingssystemer blant norske husholdninger benyttes som en casestudie.

Studien har en tverrfaglig tilnærming, og anvender bant annet teori fra psykologi. Agent-basert modellering benyttes for å etablere konkrete problemstillinger som skal undersøkes. En spørreundersøkelse, gjennomført høsten 2008, brukes for å samle informasjon til parameterisering av en agent-basert modell, for å etablere empiriske fakta, og for å validere den utviklede modellen på mikronivå. Undersøkelsens utvalg besto av 1500 norske husholdninger trukket fra Folkeregisteret og 1500 brukere av trepellets i Norge. Svarprosentene var henholdsvis 10,3 % og 34,6 % for utvalgene av den generelle befolkningen og trepelletsbrukerne. Denne studien er delt i to deler, empirisk analyse og agent-basert simulering.

Hensikten med den empiriske analysen er å forstå viktige sider ved valg av oppvarmingssystem, og implikasjoner av disse sidene med hensyn til mulige tiltak. Den empiriske analysen understøtter slik simuleringen i andre del av studien. Et spesielt viktig bidrag fra den empiriske analysen er kunnskap om forskjeller mellom brukere og ikkebrukere av trepellets med hensyn til sentrale punkter i ulike teorier om anvendelse av teknologi, psykologiske faktorer som innvirker på utbredelsen av trepellets, og underliggende årsaker til norske husholdningenes valg av framtidig oppvarmingssystem.

Simuleringen tar sikte på å utforske hvordan heterogen beslutningstaking i husholdninger henger sammen med diffusjon av oppvarmingssystemer, og avdekker mulige tiltak rettet mot trepellets i Norge. En nyskapende kobling mellom ABM og empirisk forskning muliggjør utviklingen av en konseptuel modell for husholdningers anvendelsebeslutningsprosesser. Resultater gir en demonstrasjon på at simuleringen er rimelig i stand til å reprodusere uavhengige historiske data på både makro- og mikronivå. Dette indikerer at den foreslåtte metoden for å koble ABM med empirisk forskning er lovende.

Avhandlingen tar opp casestudien i et tverrfaglig perspektiv. De viktigste bidragene til avhandlingen er inkluderingen av psykologiske faktorer i anvendelsebeslutninger, i tillegg til sosio-demografiske og teknologiske faktorer, og den foreslåtte metoden for å koble agent-basert modellering (ABM) med empirisk forskning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NTNU, 2011.
Series
Doctoral theses at NTNU, ISSN 1503-8181 ; 2011:31
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12536ISBN: 978-82-471-2581-6 (printed ver.)ISBN: 978-82-471-2583-0 (electronic ver.)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ntnu-12536DiVA: diva2:414639
Public defence
2011-03-14, 00:00
Available from: 2011-05-04 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Adopters and non-adopters of wood pellet heating in Norwegian households
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adopters and non-adopters of wood pellet heating in Norwegian households
2011 (English)In: Biomass and Bioenergy, ISSN 0961-9534, Vol. 35, no 1, 652-662 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present paper is to understand the differences between adopters and non-adopters of wood pellet heating in Norwegian households by comparing the two groups with regard to key points of adoption. A mail survey of 669 adopters and 291 non-adopters of wood pellet heating was conducted in 2008. Results indicate that there are significant differences between groups with respect to socio-demographic factors, decision-related factors, heating systems adopted and reasons for shifting heating systems. The results also indicate that the adopter group shows characteristics of early adopters, whereas the non-adopter group has characteristics of late adopters. The results for levels of income and education contradict what would be predicted from theory, however. Both groups show no significant difference with respect to values, but the perception of which heating system is the most environmentally friendly differs significantly. The top three reasons cited by the adopter group for installing wood pellet heating are getting an environmentally friendly heating system, low operation costs and an anticipated increase in electricity prices. According to the non-adopter group, the main barriers to adoption are high installation costs, followed by the difficulties of refitting the house for wood pellet heating. A higher subsidy (i.e., an average of 64% of the total installation cost) rather than the current subsidy of up to 20% was required by the non-adopter group to switch to wood pellet heating. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keyword
Adopters, Non-adopters, Wood pellet heating, Norwegian households, Perceived barriers, Required subsidy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12529 (URN)10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.10.019 (DOI)000286905300071 ()
Note
The article is reprinted with kind permission from Elsevier, sciencedirect.comAvailable from: 2011-04-29 Created: 2011-04-29 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved
2. Psychological factors in the diffusion of sustainable technology: A study of Norwegian households’ adoption of woodpellet heating
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychological factors in the diffusion of sustainable technology: A study of Norwegian households’ adoption of woodpellet heating
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12532 (URN)
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved
3. Norwegian households' perception of wood pellet stove compared to air-to-air heat pump and electric heating
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Norwegian households' perception of wood pellet stove compared to air-to-air heat pump and electric heating
2010 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, Vol. 38, no 7, 3744-3754 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2003, the high dependency on electric heating combined with the high electricity price prompted a significant number of Norwegian households to consider alternative heating systems. The government introduced economic support for wood pellet heating and heat pumps. In contrast to the fast growing heat pump market, this financial support has not resulted in a widespread adoption of wood pellet heating. This paper studies factors that influence the choice of heating system based on Norwegian households' perceptions. Electric heating, heat pump and wood pellet heating were compared, with a special focus on wood pellet heating. This study was conducted as a questionnaire survey on two independent samples. The first sample consisted of 188 randomly chosen Norwegian households, mainly using electric heating; the second sample consisted of 461 households using wood pellet heating. Our results show that socio-demographic factors, communication among households, the perceived importance of heating system attributes, and the applied decision strategy all influence the Norwegian homeowners. The significance of these factors differs between the two samples and the preferred type of anticipated future heating system. Strategies for possible interventions and policy initiatives are discussed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keyword
Norwegian perception, Heating choices, Multinomial logistic regression (MLR)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12530 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2010.02.052 (DOI)000278843700064 ()
Note
The article is reprinted with kind permission from Elsevier, sciencedirect.comAvailable from: 2011-04-29 Created: 2011-04-29 Last updated: 2014-01-07Bibliographically approved
4. Modeling adoption and diffusion of heating system in Norway: Coupling agent-based modeling with empirical research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling adoption and diffusion of heating system in Norway: Coupling agent-based modeling with empirical research
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12533 (URN)
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved
5. The influence of the social network structure on the diffusion of heating system in Norway
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of the social network structure on the diffusion of heating system in Norway
2010 (English)In: Proceeding of 3th World Congress on Social Simulation WCSS 2010 / [ed] Ernst, A., Kuhn, S., 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12534 (URN)
Conference
WCSS 2010
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved
6. Exploring policy options for a transition to sustainable heating system diffusion using an agent-based simulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring policy options for a transition to sustainable heating system diffusion using an agent-based simulation
2011 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, Vol. 39, no 5, 2722-2729 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011
Keyword
Agent-based simulation, Policy scenarios, Heating system
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12535 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2011.02.041 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved
7. Using Systems Engineering to Create a Framework for Evaluating Industrial Symbiosis Options
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using Systems Engineering to Create a Framework for Evaluating Industrial Symbiosis Options
2010 (English)In: Systems Engineering, ISSN 1098-1241, E-ISSN 1520-6858, Vol. 13, no 2, 149-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Motivated by the success of industrial symbiosis at Kalundborg, Denmark, there have been many attempts to establish industrial symbiosis around the world Modeling the complex system that underlies an industrial symbiosis provides much needed understanding of these interactions in the planning stage Therefore, guidance and/or a framework are needed to identify "what to model" and to keep the modeling process on track This paper applies systems engineering to create a framework for modeling industrial symbiosis The proposed framework provides a practical road map for the modeling process that connects relevant concepts and techniques A case is introduced to illustrate use of the framework (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc Syst Eng 13 149-160,2010

Keyword
industrial symbiosis, systems engineering, framework
Identifiers
urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-12531 (URN)10.1002/sys.20139 (DOI)000277187900004 ()
Available from: 2011-04-29 Created: 2011-04-29 Last updated: 2011-05-04Bibliographically approved

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