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Characterising the Evolution of Energy System Models Using Model Archaeology

Dodds, PE; Keppo, I; Strachan, N; (2014) Characterising the Evolution of Energy System Models Using Model Archaeology. Environmental Modeling & Assessment 10.1007/s10666-014-9417-3. Green open access

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Abstract

In common with other types of complex models, energy system models have opaque structures, making it difficult to understand both changes between model versions and the extent of changes described in research papers. In this paper, we develop the principle of model archaeology as a formal method to quantitatively examine the balance and evolution of energy system models, through the ex post analysis of both model inputs and outputs using a series of metrics. These metrics help us to understand how models are developed and used and are a powerful tool for effectively targeting future model improvements. The usefulness of model archaeology is demonstrated in a case study examining the UK MARKAL model. We show how model development has been influenced by the interests of the UK government and the research projects funding model development. Despite these influences, there is clear evidence of a strategy to balance model complexity and accuracy when changes are made. We identify some important long-term trends including higher technology capital costs in subsequent model versions. Finally, we discuss how model archaeology can improve the transparency of research model studies. © 2014 The Author(s).

Type: Article
Title: Characterising the Evolution of Energy System Models Using Model Archaeology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10666-014-9417-3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10666-014-9417-3
Language: English
Additional information: Available for re-use under the terms of a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1435068
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