Mars, 2023 - November, 2025
Mar, 2023 - Nov, 2025
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
WECoS aims at improving strategic decision-making regarding the production, use, and re-use of household waste and energy infrastructure through a model platform integrated with quantified human behavior. The dynamic model will offer improved assessment of the temporal dimension of the waste-energy system (WtE), including infrastructure development/decommissioning and uncertainty analysis for alternative policy solutions.
RISE has partnered with the municipality of Helsingborg which will serve as the testbed for this innovative approach, and additional partner organizations ensure inclusion of the entire value chain of products, waste, collection and energy production. This includes Öresundskraft, Svenskt Producentansvar and Nordvästra Skånes Renhållnings Aktiebolag. Transparency and knowledge sharing are fundamental principles of the project.
The key aim of WECoS is to co-develop a value-inclusive simulation platform and perform choice modelling experiments to improve model results. The goals of the project are to 1) build a dynamic model to quantitatively assess policy alternatives related to the entire waste-energy system, 2) develop improved methods for integrating behavioral aspects into modeling assessments, and 3) drive implementation of partner-prioritized policy alternatives at the municipal level.
Different modelling approaches have been used to support decision-making in an applied manner with municipal actors and regional industries both in Sweden and globally regarding the role of WtE. The most commonly applied methods are Life-Cycle-Analysis, cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria decision making. However, these methods are relatively static, providing only a snapshot of waste management systems while many aspects of this complex system rely on time-coordinated efforts to ensure resource flows are balanced.
The WECOS project takes a different approach, using system dynamics simulation modelling. It is a proven method both to overcome human cognitive limitations when addressing complex systems, such as WtE, that include long time horizons and uncertainty, as well as to build consensus among stakeholder groups with diverse values. SD is implemented within a visual, object-oriented environment, increasing transparency of model assumptions, allowing for the creation of a shared representation of the WtE system – by allowing direct input from multiple knowledge bases including; scientific, operational & behavioral. Simulations can run within seconds allowing production and discussion of results in a collaborative manner with local actors. A key advantage is the ability to turn the modelling snapshot of commonly applied methods, into a “film”, uncovering the behavior over time of key variables and cause effect mechanisms driving simulated outcomes.
To further improve the results of the model, choice modelling techniques will be used to better understand consumer demand and willingness to pay for services related to inputs (household waste sorting) and outputs (energy & biogas production) of the WtE. This approach will be used to estimate household-level responses to the strategies and policies that emerge from model-driven discussions.
Presently, model conceptualization is underway to create a system map that includes the key performance indicators of interest for the partner organisations. This will determine the system boundary for the model and inform the data collection and quantitative modelling efforts beginning in Fall 2023.
If you are interested in learning more about the project or joining the reference group please contact the project leader, Shane Carnohan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Projektet finansieras av Energimyndigheten. Projektets deltagare står själva för sidans innehåll och projektens resultat.