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EMF WP 12.3: Structural Comparison of EMF 12 Models

This paper analyses the structure of the energy and economic models represented in the recently completed Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) study, EMF 12: Economic Impacts of Policies to Reduce Energy-Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

The 14 models in the study are heterogeneous, which has a number of advantages. Chief among these is the greater number of insights obtainable by comparing the models’ results in and across global warming policy scenarios. To fully appreciate the results, however, it is necessary to understand how a model’s structure affects its output. The disadvantage of a diverse set of models is that it complicates structural comparison, and thereby the interpretation of results.

The relevant model characteristics fall into three broad areas of comparison. The first is the model type, including market representation. Despite the many differences among the models, five distinct classes of market representations are seen within which models have great similarity. This simplifies understanding the remaining areas of comparison: energy demand and supply modelling. The foci here are the representation of capital stock dynamics and market penetration of carbon free energy sources respectively.