Identifying Possibilities Using Long-Term Energy Scenarios
- ESRI Studies Series on the Environment
Chapter 4: Technology clusters
4. Technology clusters This chapter presents the concept of technology clusters, a concept that has proved useful for the analysis of long-term energy–economy–environment (E3) scenarios from a policy perspective. Generally speaking, technology clusters are groups of technologies that have at least one important feature in common. We shall deﬁne four types of technology clusters, illustrate them with examples, and then proceed to show how the cluster concept can be used to analyse patterns of energy technology evolvement in sustainabledevelopment E3 scenarios. 4.1 DEFINING TECHNOLOGY CLUSTERS The real-world energy system consists of many thousands of technologies ranging from fuel extraction, reﬁning, energy conversion and conservation to technologies for energy end use. This complexity makes it diﬃcult to assess policies aimed at individual technologies, for example policies to guide the overall energy system towards sustainability. The cluster concept serves the purpose of reducing the complexity of the description of the global energy system. The importance of analysing technologies in such an aggregated way has been widely recognized by other groups; see, for example, Seebregts et al. (2000) or Gritsevskii and Nakic enovic (2000). Our ´ ´ approach incorporates aspects of both groups when we deﬁne some types of technology clusters with respect to technological characteristics prior to – and independently of – modelling, and some types a posteriori from scenario assumptions or results. We will use the technology cluster concept to analyse the robustness of policies aiming at the promotion of sustainable development (SD) by identifying those principal technology clusters...
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