Quality & Quantity

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 2973–2991

Acceptability of energy sources using an integration of the Delphi method and the analytic hierarchy process



The research presented in this paper is structured on the basis of the extensive literature on the world energy shift and, in particular, the dynamics of the political, social, market, and community acceptability of different energy sources. This study attempts to determine which sources of energy are most accepted or preferred by political systems, public opinion, and the market and the weights that these dynamics of acceptability have on the global energy shift. In this theoretical framework, we present an application and propose a methodology resulting from the integration of two methods: the Delphi method and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). While Delphi seeks a convergence of opinions among a group of experts, the AHP helps solve complex decision problems using a hierarchical structure. To integrate the Delphi and AHP methods, we propose an innovation in the way the feedbacks are circulated among the participants. The experts’ judgements are given in a box-plot using a slider, which simplifies the procedure because the respondents have all the most important information on the distribution of responses from the previous round. At the same time, our method eliminates the problem of the choice of one of the diverse methods of aggregation, which are necessary when the AHP is applied in a group setting. The application of this method to energy issues and the dynamics of the acceptability of the different sources in particular revealed the feasibility and advantages of the instrument and produced interesting results.


AHP Delphi Group decision-making Energy shift Acceptability  Public opinions 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly

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