Abstract for: Energy Transitions towards Sustainability: A Staged Exploration of Complexity and Deep Uncertainty

This paper illustrates the use of Exploratory System Dynamics Modeling and Analysis -- a multi-method combining System Dynamics and Exploratory Modeling and Analysis to explore and analyze uncertain dynamic issues and test deep policy robustness, i.e. policy effectiveness over thousands of plausible futures. This paper gives an overview of the current state of this multi-method by means of illustration. The multi-method is applied to the transition of the electricity generation system, more specifically the battle between old and new electricity generation technologies. Starting from a small System Dynamics model about the battle, uncertainties are added to turn it into an exploratory variant which is used as a scenario generator in the multi-method. Later, model and method uncertainties are added and explored by joint consideration of multiple models (the exploratory SD model, another (large) System Dynamics model,...). As such, the reader is taken step by step from the identification of uncertainties, development of SD models, transformation of these SD models into exploratory models by adding uncertainty-related structures and formulations, to the stage-wise exploration of different types of uncertainties -- starting with parameter uncertainties, subsequently adding uncertainties related to functions, structures, models, and methods.