A conceptual framework for energy technology sustainability assessment

Musango, Josephine K.
Brent, Alan C.
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Technology assessment has changed in nature over the last four decades from an analytical tool for technology evaluation, which depends heavily on quantitative and qualitative modelling methodologies, into a strategic planning tool for policymaking concerning acceptable new technologies, which depends on participative policy problem analysis. The goal of technology assessment today is to generate policy options for solutions of organizational and societal problems, which, at the operational level, utilize new technologies that are publicly acceptable, that is, viable policy options. This study focuses on the development of a framework that incorporates a technology assessment approach, namely, system dynamics, within the broader scope of technology development for sustainability. The framework, termed systemapproach to technology sustainability assessment (SATSA), integrates three key elements: technology development, sustainable development, and dynamic systems approach. The article then demonstrates the framework of incorporating the system dynamics methodology in energy technology assessment theory and practice within the context of sustainable development. The framework provides for technology sustainability assessment, which, in turn, can guide the promotion of sustainable energy technologies at a policy level. In addition, it can assist technology developers in understanding the potential impacts of a technology, hence enabling them to reduce technology transfer risks
The original publication is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com
Technology sustainability assessment, Sustainable development, System dynamics, Sustainable technology, Energy technologies, Renewable energy sources
Musango, J. K. & Brent, A. C. 2011. A conceptual framework for energy technology sustainability assessment. Energy for sustainable development, 15(1), 84-91, doi:10.1016/j.esd.2010.10.005.