Edited by Matthias Ruth and Brynhildur Davidsdottir
Chapter 12: PowerPlay: Developing Strategies to Promote Energy Efficiency
Matthias Ruth, Clark Bernier, Alan Meier and John ‘Skip’ Laitner 12.1 INTRODUCTION Engineers have long sought technologies that deliver goods and services more effectively and efficiently. Economists and lawyers have explored mechanisms to provide incentives for the adoption of those technologies, and for the reduction of undesired side-effects. Increasingly, industrial ecologists have situated themselves at the interface of technology and society to provide a systems perspective that encompasses the environmental, technological, economic and social dimensions of resource use, provision of goods and services, and environmental impact (Graedel and Allenby 1995; Soccolow et al. 1996). As the number of ‘actors’ (firms, households, government agencies), that need to be considered in a systems-based analysis is larger than typically considered in more traditional approaches, as time frames are extended to capture the long-term effects of investment and policy decisions in a changing environment, and as feedbacks among various subsystems (for example different firms, different consumer groups, different resource endowments and ecosystems) are explicitly introduced in the analysis, the complexity and need for information increase. At the same time, the limits to anticipate outcomes perfectly become painfully apparent to anyone interested in planning and management (Funtowicz and Ravetz 1993; Ruth 1998). In complex decision environments, games are a popular tools to explore with decision-makers the consequences of their decisions in situations where information flow among ‘players’ is limited and environmental conditions cannot be known with certainty. There is a wide range of such games. At one extreme are game-theoretic models that attempt to identify...
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