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In search of complementarity: Insights from an exercise in quantifying qualitative energy futures

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gareth Powells, Dr Kevin Wilson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This paper considers a bridging strategy between qualitative and quantitative research with the potential aim of achieving complementarity. A pilot case study using the Sheffield Elicitation Framework “SHELF” to estimate appropriate inputs for a quantitative energy systems model, based on a qualitative energy future scenario, was used to gain insights. Of novelty is the ethnographic insights of an example translation procedure, as well as the methodological approach of the translation procedure itself. This paper reports the findings from this exercise concerning the practicalities of applying such a technique, and the observations from the expert elicitation process itself. Based on this pilot, we make two recommendations. The first is the importance of devising a strategy in projects, and research programmes, where bridging between qualitative and quantitative research activities would be most effective. The second is that observations of discussions during the expert elicitation process provide value in the provenance of the estimates for quantitative modelling purposes and provide considerations for further development of qualitative future scenarios.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Copeland C, Turner B, Powells G, Wilson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energies

Year: 2022

Volume: 15

Issue: 15

Online publication date: 22/07/2022

Acceptance date: 18/07/2022

Date deposited: 19/07/2022

ISSN (electronic): 1996-1073

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/en15155340


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