MANIFOLD – Model development and model coupling to actor behaviour in innovation and diffusion networks

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Januar 2020 – December 2023


In the endeavour to transform the energy system to reduce its impact on climate change, energy system (ESM) models have become a widely applied tool to obtain insights into the complex interactions between climate policies and technological and economic developments. By displaying the different concerned sectors such as energy production, buildings, transport and industry from a techno-economic perspective, ESM can support decision making. Despite their growing importance, however, current ESM are focussed on the techno-economic perspective while largely neglecting the essential component of social and behavioural factors. The existing literature points out the challenge of operationalising these factors in order to achieve an encompassing representation of the energy system that takes into account the interdisciplinarity and interrelationships between system components.

Project goals

The MANIFOLD project aims to enable energy system models to take better account of the results of quantitative and qualitative empirical analyses (e.g. surveys, conjoint analyses, qualitative interviews, experiments, etc.) on the behaviour of actors (e.g. citizens, companies, non-governmental organisations, etc.) and reduce the methodological effort. With regard to system analysis, this should in particular lead to progress in the area of model-based questions of technology acceptance and obstacle analysis and enable a more realistic simulation and analysis of regulatory framework conditions.

Tasks of IREES

  • Integration of empirical Discrete Choice data on investment decisions in the building sector

  • Simulation of explorative scenarios of the building sector

  • Interdisciplinary development and evaluation of policy instruments in the heat sector

Project Partner

  • Fraunhofer ISI (Project lead)

  • IER

  • IQIB

  • RWTH Aachen

  • TUB


  • Frauenhofer ISE


Dr. Jan Steinbach
Dr. Jan Steinbach
Eftim Popovski
Eftim Popovski