Abstract for: Energy transitions in Built Environment of Netherlands: A System Dynamics approach to diffusion of Solar boilers and Insulation

In context of rising demand for energy amidst limited resources, energy efficiency and sustainability are one of the major concerns of a modernized world. Gas consumption in the built environment constitutes for more than 30% of the overall energy consumption in the world. Hence, energy transitions and their preferences in the built environment demand urgent attention by policy makers in order to implement cost-effective and long-term sustainable policies. But, the highly dynamic nature of decision making adopted by households involves complex interaction between various factors. Therefore, in this study, a modified Bass diffusion structure was used in a System Dynamics model to examine energy transitions and subsequent reductions in overall gas consumption in the built environment of Netherlands. Specifically, the gas consumption by different types of owner-occupied houses having different attributes was studied by considering the probability of adoption of solar boilers and/or insulation by these households. Also, the effect of different policy measures such as subsidies, demolition, innovation driving, and increased advertisement/awareness, under different scenarios, was evaluated. These experiments confirmed that there is great potential for energy saving in the building sector. Moreover, policies that focus on changing people’s behavior were found to be more effective in the energy transitions process.