Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation and renewable energy policies. Two case-studies
Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation is a kind of multi-criteria analysis that combines the technical evaluation of different options according to various assessment criteria with the analysis of the social actors conflicting values and interests.
Two main ideas are at the basis of SMCE: technical incommensurability (i.e. in a complex environment one cannot express all impacts of a policy using one only unit of measurement, or, in other words, an inter/multidisciplinary analysis is needed) and social incommensurability (i.e. the social actors have different and legitimately conflicting values and interests, which must be taken into account when evaluating a policy or a project).
SMCE was applied to two case-studies. In the first one, the problem at hand was how to provide some isolated rural households in a natural park near Barcelona with electricity, whether by extending the grid or installing stand-alone photovoltaic systems. The issue caused a conflict between 1995 and 2000 among the Park administration (in favour of solar energy) and the household inhabitants and owners, plus the Mayor (in favour of traditional electricity). A retrospective SMCE was performed in order to explain the positions of the involved stakeholders and the factors that help the diffusion of off-grid photovoltaic systems in rural areas.
The second part of the thesis deals with the opportunity for the Italian government of supporting a large-scale biofuels production. The pros and cons of satisfying part of the energy need of the transport sector with biodiesel were analyzed through a variety of assessment criteria and taking into account different scales and dimensions.
School:Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:412 departament d economia i historia economica
Date of Publication:03/21/2007