An agent-based exploration of complex heat transitions in the Netherlands

G.D.C. Luteijn-Nava Guerrero

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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In the Netherlands, a complex heat transition is taking place. Currently, the country's built environment largely relies on natural gas for heating. By 2050, the housing sector should, in principle, be free of this fuel. Changes in laws, policies, regulations, and technical solutions to achieve this goal will be challenging. Their implementation will require coordination and even cooperation between building owners (i.e. group decisions), as well as taking into account households' bounded financial rationality, households' heterogeneous decision criteria and preferences, and uncertainties introduced by changes in formal institutions.

This dissertation explores these challenges from the perspectives of socio-technical systems, complex adaptive systems, and complex systems engineering. It addresses the question: How could the heat transition in the Netherlands be influenced by homeowners’ individual and group decisions regarding investment in heating systems and insulation measures? Agent-based modelling, informed by recent policy developments and scientific literature, is the main method used for answering this question. This dissertation takes the application of this method to explore the heat transition in the Netherlands one step further.

“An agent-based exploration of complex heat transitions in the Netherlands” is relevant for the following three audience groups. Firstly, researchers who develop computational models to study socio-technical transitions, and in particular, heat transitions in the Netherlands. Secondly, practitioners who develop or use those computational models to offer advice to different actors. Finally, this research is relevant for anyone interested in enabling heat transitions in the Netherlands, from households and neighbourhoods who are the end users of technologies, to public actors discussing and designing policy interventions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Lukszo, Z., Supervisor
  • Hansen, Helle H., Supervisor, External person
  • Korevaar, G., Advisor
Award date25 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Built environment
  • Residential
  • Households
  • Thermal
  • Insulation
  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Socio-technical systems
  • ABM
  • group decisions
  • Investment
  • Homeowner associations


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