Article published by Saudi Gazette, Nov 7, 2017
RIYADH — The value of social and behavioral decision-making models to improve the understanding of energy policy and global energy markets was discussed in a workshop at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC). The workshop was held last Nov.1-2 in the Apex Conference Center, and was titled “Modeling Collective Decision-Making Processes (CDMPs).
The main objective was to gather 30 energy, economic, and policy experts to engage in a lively and constructive discussion, form the basis for collaboration, and create awareness of cutting edge developments in this field.
The workshop included seven sessions, covering such topics as the political feasibility of developing a GCC power market, the implication of Japanese decision-making on restarting nuclear power plants for global LNG and fuel oil markets, and the political realities confronting signatories of the Paris Agreement to achieve their National Determined Commitments (NDCs).
The two-day workshop began with opening remarks by David Hobbs, the VP of Research, who welcomed a diverse group of participants from around the world.
In the opening session, Brian Efird, KAPSARC’s Program Director for Policy and Decision Science, explained the history and importance of modeling CDMPs to understand how leaders, stakeholders, and advocates interact to arrive at decisions.
Erik Gartzke from the University of California, San Diego focused on how such models can reduce the risk of human error and provide an objective and rigorous view of how decisions are arrived at.
Imtenan Al-Mubarak, a research associate at KAPSARC, and Andrew Howe, a Research Fellow at KAPSARC, presented KAPSARC’s unique, modeling capability in this field, called the KAPSARC Toolkit to Behavioral Analysis (KTAB). KTAB has been developed to be freely available to anyone under an open source license in order to promote better decision-making for energy policy, and for other issues around the world. Lama Yaseen, a research associate at KAPSARC, walked the workshop participants through how to use the KTAB software.
Zlata Seergeva, from the Energy Center at SKOLKOVO, based in Moscow, and Saleh Al-Muhanna, a Research Analyst at KAPSARC, presented two case studies to demonstrate the range of potential applications for KTAB.
KAPSARC conducts research into energy economics, energy policy, and their interaction between technological change and the evolving views on the importance of the environment, across all types of energy. The Center is focused on finding solutions for the most effective and productive use of energy, creating added value that contributes to the welfare of both energy exporting and consuming societies.
As with all KAPSARC workshops, a summary of key discussion points, insights, and recommendations will be posted at the Center’s website.