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How does the 2050 pathways model relate to other energy models

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Showing just the changes made in the edit by Tom Counsell at 2011-06-08 10:03:36 UTC

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Title: How does the 2050 pathways model relate to other energy models (e.g., Markal, ESME)?

Content: h1 The short answer:

There is no perfect model. The 2050 pathways model is playable & transparent but simplistic. Markal, ESME, the DECC Energy Model are rich & powerful in different ways but complex. DECC uses all four.

h1 The long answer:

There is no perfect model.

The 2050 pathways model tries to be:

* Just complicated enough to give the gist of what could happen to the UK energy system over the next 40 years.
* Just simple enough that a person can explore the possibilities in a few hours.
* Just rich enough to give people the freedom to try out their own beliefs (which may mean, for instance, that they don't necessarily want what is cheapest)
* Transparent, so that the public can check the calculations and the assumptions - and modify both if they disagree.

But this means the model has flaws:

* It doesn't give an accurate answer - it is not complicated enough.
* It doesn't find the cheapest answer - it has no automatic optimiser.
* It doesn't predict -  it has no view on how people will behave.
* It can't be used to test the effect of policies - it isn't complicated enough, and has no view on how people will behave.

So, when considering what to do, DECC uses a combination of models and analysis.

DECC uses many models and pieces of analysis for specific sectors and policies, and three main models that simulate the whole energy system: the DECC Energy Model, Markal and, more recently, the ESME model developed by the ETI.

* The DECC Energy Model tries to be the best at providing forecasts of the effect of policies
* The Markal model tries to give the richest view of different technology capabilities
* The ESME model tries to incorporate the implications of the uncertainty in the cost of technologies

It also works with those developing 'big' models elsewhere (e.g., HMT, DfT, IEA, EU) and listens to the views of 

The intent is that the teams behind each model work together to try to ensure that: 1. Differences in assumptions about the world are deliberate and their implications understood 2. Where one model is simplistic and another rich, the two are calibrated against each other to ensure the simple is not wrong and the implications of its wrong-ness are understood

User: Tom Counsell

Picture updated at: 

Signed off by: Tom Counsell

Signed off at: 2011-06-08 10:03:36 UTC