Agent-Based Modelling of the Social Dynamics of Energy End-Use

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Agent-based modelling and simulation is now accepted as a valuable tool for describing the dynamics of complex socio-technical systems, and for studying complex adaptive systems. This chapter surveys the opportunities and challenges in agent-based models (ABM) for the social dynamics of energy end use. Following an introduction to the methodology of ABM, we discuss the ability of ABM to capture heterogeneous, boundedly rational and imperfectly informed behavioural factors at the individual, household, and neighbourhood levels, including the usage of micro-generation and local storage. We review three archetypal case studies of ABM: energy efficiency in domestic heating, electric vehicle adoption, and energy management in smart grids. We conclude with directions for the future, pointing out the importance of ABM in the context of multidisciplinary studies of energy behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy and Behaviour
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a Low Carbon Future
EditorsM. Lopes, C. Henggeler, K. Janda
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780128185674
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-818567-4
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Agent-based models
  • Case studies
  • Energy behaviour
  • Energy use
  • Methodology
  • Simulation


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