Modelling Sustainable Development

Modelling Sustainable Development

Transitions to a Sustainable Future

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Valentina Bosetti, Reyer Gerlagh and Stefan P. Schleicher

This insightful book explores the issue of sustainable development in its more operative and applied sense. Although a great deal of research has addressed potential interpretations and definitions of sustainable development, much of this work is too abstract to offer policy-makers and researchers the feasible and effective guidelines they require. This book redresses the balance.

Chapter 9: Market Allocation Model (MARKAL) at ECN

Koen Smekens, Gerard Martinus and Bob van der Zwaan

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


Koen Smekens, Gerard Martinus and Bob van der Zwaan MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) is a family of dynamic bottom-up energy system models developed and supported by the Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme (ETSAP), one of the Implementing Agreements of the International Energy Agency (ETSAP, 2006). While originally MARKAL models were of the linear programming (LP) type – which is still mostly the case – the framework today has been extended in principle also to include more refined modelling tools that allow for example for solving more complex programmes such as mixed integer problems (see, for example, Seebregts et al., 2001). MARKAL models are applied in a broad variety of settings, benefit from technical support by a large international research community, and are today implemented in more than 40 countries. This chapter gives an overview of the main features of MARKAL, in particular including concise descriptions of the objective function of the programme (Section 9.1), the simulation of technological change (Section 9.2), the representation of cluster learning (Section 9.3), the modelling of elastic energy demand (Section 9.4), and specific characteristics relevant for the European context (Section 9.5). 9.1 INTRODUCTION In its basic formulation MARKAL is a linear optimization model with the total system costs as its objective function. By minimizing these total costs over the whole time period considered at once, it assumes perfect foresight. Thus, it reflects a perfectly transparent market with rational behaviour of all market players. Government interventions or specific social preferences, that essentially distort the free market, can be simulated...

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