Using PROMETHEE to assess bioenergy pathways

  • Tim Schröder
  • Lars-Peter LauvenEmail author
  • Beatriz Beyer
  • Nils Lerche
  • Jutta Geldermann
Original Paper


Investment and policy decisions in the context of sustainable development are classic application areas for multi-criteria decision analysis. Ranking various pathways, i.e. conversion routes, for biomass use in the energy sector is particularly challenging. Depending on how ecological, economic, and social criteria are weighed, a multi-criteria decision analysis can lead to significantly contrasting recommendations. In this paper, we present a decision support for eleven energy pathways using decision criteria drawn from all three sustainability dimensions—ecological, economic, and social. For the graphical presentation of the relatively large number of pathways and criteria weightings, we introduce a novel visualization approach that combines the results of both PROMETHEE I and II. This visualization approach permits stakeholders to quickly and intuitively gather insights about the result structure and the consequences of different input parameters, for instance different criteria weightings.


Multi-criteria Decision support PROMETHEE Visualization Bioenergy 



This research was funded by the European Commission Intelligent Energy—Europe (IEE) project BIOTEAM (Contract No.: 410 IEE/12/842/SI2.645699) from the EU program “Intelligent Energy—Europe (IEE)” We are grateful to our colleagues from the BIOTEAM (‘Optimizing Pathways and Market Systems for Enhanced Competitiveness of Sustainable Bio-Energy’) project for the fruitful cooperation. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Supplementary material

10100_2018_590_MOESM1_ESM.docx (81 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 80 kb)
10100_2018_590_MOESM2_ESM.docx (80 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 80 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Production and LogisticsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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