New ways for the integrated appraisal of national energy scenarios: The case of renewable energy use in Austria

Reinhard Madlener*, Katharina Kowalski, Sigrid Stagl

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Increasing the contribution of renewable energy sources in heat and electricity production is a nationally and internationally acknowledged aim for sustainable development. In this context, the participatory development and appraisal of energy scenarios can be useful for enabling stakeholders to explore future energy options and for supporting the national policy discourse. The five renewable energy scenarios considered refer to Austria in the year 2020. The innovative methodology applied, which was developed as part of the ARTEMIS project, examines possible energy futures paths by combining (1) scenario development; (2) multi-criteria evaluation; and (3) a participatory process with stakeholders and energy experts on the national level. Economic, social, environmental and technological impacts as well as revealed social preferences are used for the ranking of the scenarios. Due to the paramount importance of bioenergy in Austria, special emphasis in the scenario development is put on the contribution of biomass. Two main bioenergy issues and their consideration in the ARTEMIS project are explicitly addressed in this paper: the cascadic utilisation of biomass resources and the demand for land area and land area conflicts. Overall, we demonstrate how the methodology can be applied in practice and what insights policy-makers can gain from it. We also explore the methodology's limitations, especially regarding the effort required for participatory scenario building and the availability of stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6060-6074
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Participatory multi-criteria evaluation
  • Renewable energy

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