ENDORSING PARTNERS

Structuring Sociotechnical Complexity in
Infrastructure Systems:
The Biogas system

The following are ...
Structuring
Socio-technical
Complexity in
Infrastructure
Systems

The Biogas System
prof. Dr. Ir. Margot Weijnen

Delft
Un...
Outline
•Introduction
•Biogas Energy System
•Conceptual Modelling with MAIA
•Modelling the Biogas System
•Simulation Resul...
Introduction
•Infrastructures not static: constant evolution
as perceptions and goals of the stakeholders
change.
•With te...
The Biogas Infrastructure
•European 2020 targets (compared to 1990):
• 20% CO2 emission reduction,
• 20% energy from renew...
Biogas Potential in the
Netherlands

Next
Generation
Infrastructures

Titel ISNGI presentatie
van de 2013

5
Barriers for Biogas Production
in the Netherlands
• Investor uncertainty, a large barrier in the Netherlands.
• Low invest...
Research question
What are the conditions for, and characteristics
of a robust biogas infrastructure system?

Next
Generat...
ABM for Infrastructure
•Suitable for modelling the biogas system and
other infrastructure systems with:
• Distributed char...
Conceptual Modelling
To identify and define concepts and relations in a
simulation before programming.
• Bridges the gap b...
MAIA

Modelling Agent system using
Institutional Analysis

• Framework to conceptualize agent-based models of sociotechnic...
MAIA Structures
Five interrelated structures to conceptualize
different aspects of an infrastructure system:
1.

Collectiv...
The MAIA Meta-model

Next
Generation
Infrastructures

Titel ISNGI presentatie
van de 2013

12
MAIA user interface

Next
Generation
Infrastructures

Titel ISNGI presentatie
van de 2013

13
Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure
– Collective Structure
Factory
household
-location [x,y]
-energyNeed [type][GJ/yr]
-wi...
Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure
– Physical Structure

Next
Generation
Infrastructures

Titel ISNGI presentatie
van de ...
Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure
– Operational Structure

Next
Generation
Infrastructures

Titel ISNGI presentatie
van ...
Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure
– Constitutional Structure
•Formal Institutions

• Environmental permits
• SDE+ subsid...
Simulation outcomes
Agricultural firm performance.
The size of the bubble indicates
the risk of an individual
agricultural...
Simulation results
• A robust biogas infrastructure system can develop without any
subsidies
• 54% of cases: no biogas pro...
Conclusion
Conceptualization using MAIA

• Sufficient completeness & sufficient level of
detail to allow modellers without...
JASSS:MAIA: A Framework For Developing
Agent-based Social Simulations
Amineh Ghorbani
a.ghorbani@tudelft.nl

THANK YOU!
Ti...
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SMART International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure:Structuring socio-technical complexity in infrastructure systems: The Biogas system

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A presentation conducted by Dr Amineh Ghorbani, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology.
Presented on Tuesday the 1st of October 2013.

Infrastructure systems consist of many heterogeneous decision making entities and technological artefacts. They are governed through public policy that unravels in a multi-scale institutional context, ranging from norms and values to technical standards. For example, to integrate biogas infrastructure in a region, various forms of governance, laws and regulations need to be implemented. To effectively design these requirements, insights into socio-technical systems can be gained through agent based modelling and simulation.
To implement such social concepts in agent-based models of infrastructure systems, we designed a modelling framework called MAIA, based on the Institutional Analysis and Development framework of Elinor Ostrom. This paper will explain how MAIA can be used to model a biogas energy infrastructure in the Netherlands.

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SMART International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure:Structuring socio-technical complexity in infrastructure systems: The Biogas system

  1. 1. ENDORSING PARTNERS Structuring Sociotechnical Complexity in Infrastructure Systems: The Biogas system The following are confirmed contributors to the business and policy dialogue in Sydney: • Rick Sawers (National Australia Bank) • Nick Greiner (Chairman (Infrastructure NSW) Monday, 30th September 2013: Business & policy Dialogue Tuesday 1 October to Thursday, Dialogue 3rd October: Academic and Policy Presented by: Dr Amineh Ghorbani, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology www.isngi.org www.isngi.org
  2. 2. Structuring Socio-technical Complexity in Infrastructure Systems The Biogas System prof. Dr. Ir. Margot Weijnen Delft University of Technology Challenge the future ISNGI 2013
  3. 3. Outline •Introduction •Biogas Energy System •Conceptual Modelling with MAIA •Modelling the Biogas System •Simulation Results •Conclusion Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 2
  4. 4. Introduction •Infrastructures not static: constant evolution as perceptions and goals of the stakeholders change. •With technological advancement • Infrastructures grow in size, become interconnected. • The robustness of these systems increases but also their complexity. •Biogas system, an example of complex sociotechnical infrastructure. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 3
  5. 5. The Biogas Infrastructure •European 2020 targets (compared to 1990): • 20% CO2 emission reduction, • 20% energy from renewables • 20% increase in energy efficiency •Biogas production stimulated by Renewable Energy Directive as a mean for renewable energy production and CO2 reduction. •Potential for biogas production in the Netherlands: estimated 60PJ in 2030 Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 4
  6. 6. Biogas Potential in the Netherlands Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 5
  7. 7. Barriers for Biogas Production in the Netherlands • Investor uncertainty, a large barrier in the Netherlands. • Low investment costs and high variable costs. • Biogas governance not clearly defined. • Current institutions, complex and time consuming. • Economies of scale important, but hard to realize in the Netherlands. • A gap between European energy and environmental policy. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 6
  8. 8. Research question What are the conditions for, and characteristics of a robust biogas infrastructure system? Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 7
  9. 9. ABM for Infrastructure •Suitable for modelling the biogas system and other infrastructure systems with: • Distributed character • Highly dynamic environment • Interaction flexibility •However, agent-based models are: • Difficult to build • high programming skills • Concepts such as policy, rules, norms intangible in simulations • Difficult to involve stakeholders and domain experts Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 8
  10. 10. Conceptual Modelling To identify and define concepts and relations in a simulation before programming. • Bridges the gap between real world system & simulation. • Share ideas and perspectives with experts in advance, involve stakeholders in the simulation process. • Significant time savings later on in the process. • Possibility to reuse and rebuild a simulation due to readable documentation (conceptual model). Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 9
  11. 11. MAIA Modelling Agent system using Institutional Analysis • Framework to conceptualize agent-based models of sociotechnical system. • Based on the IAD framework (Ostrom) and other social theories (e.g., structuration, social mechanism). • Can be considered as a template (or abstract ontology) of socio-technical concepts and relations. • Source for qualitative data collection. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 10
  12. 12. MAIA Structures Five interrelated structures to conceptualize different aspects of an infrastructure system: 1. Collective structure: agents, their characteristics and decision making. 2. Constitutional structure: the rules, norms, regulations and cultures in the system. 3. Physical Structure: The physical artefacts and physical environment, their composition and connections. 4. Operational Structure: The activities that take place in the system. 5. Evaluative Structure: The connection between the outcomes of the system and other four aspects. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 11
  13. 13. The MAIA Meta-model Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 12
  14. 14. MAIA user interface Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 13
  15. 15. Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure – Collective Structure Factory household -location [x,y] -energyNeed [type][GJ/yr] -willingness [boolean] -willingnessToPay [€/GJ] -environmentalGoals [% renewable] -energyConsumerID [float] CO2 market -CO2Price [€/ton] Energy Consumer Gas Market -gasPrice [€/Nm3] +Pre-negotiate energy need() 0..* Electricity Market -electricityPrice [€/kWh] -pre-negotiate 0..1 Potential Producer Energy company Industrial consumer -location [x,y] -energyNeed [type][GJ/yr] -willingness [boolean] -willingnessToPay [€/GJ] -environmentalGoals [% renewable] -energyConsumerID [float] +Invite energy consumers() +Pre-negotiate biogas demand() +Inventorize biogas need() Landfill ... D a Water Treatment -location [x,y] Next Generation Infrastructures Agricultural Firm -location [x,y] af -location [x,y] Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 14
  16. 16. Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure – Physical Structure Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 15
  17. 17. Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure – Operational Structure Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 16
  18. 18. Modelling the Biogas Infrastructure – Constitutional Structure •Formal Institutions • Environmental permits • SDE+ subsidy •Norms • Collaborative behaviour Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 17
  19. 19. Simulation outcomes Agricultural firm performance. The size of the bubble indicates the risk of an individual agricultural firms, which ranges from 0% to 3.15%, with an average of 0.92% for all 240 scenarios. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 18
  20. 20. Simulation results • A robust biogas infrastructure system can develop without any subsidies • 54% of cases: no biogas production, not economically viable. • 46% of cases: positive cash flow. • Around 69% of the projects have a negative Net Present Value. • Prices for co-substrates, natural gas and CO2 largely determine the feasibility and profitability of biogas production. • Longer depreciation periods & increasing natural gas prices increase the initial profitability of biogas, but also expose agricultural firms to the risks and uncertainty of external price developments. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 19
  21. 21. Conclusion Conceptualization using MAIA • Sufficient completeness & sufficient level of detail to allow modellers without any domain specific knowledge to implement a simulation. • Conceptual model requires scientific rigor, for which the five MAIA structures can be used to efficiently gather the required knowledge and data. • The online MAIA tool used to structure the data in cards and exchange with other modellers or programmers to extend or implement the model. • Special attention to internal decision models & agent actions at the smallest scale. Next Generation Infrastructures Titel ISNGI presentatie van de 2013 20
  22. 22. JASSS:MAIA: A Framework For Developing Agent-based Social Simulations Amineh Ghorbani a.ghorbani@tudelft.nl THANK YOU! Titel van de presentatie 21

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