The backbone of Energy Technology Perspectives is scenario modelling. The analysis is built on a combination of back casting and forecasting. Back casting lays out plausible pathways to a desired end state. In forecasting, the end state is a result of the analysis.
The analysis aims to identify the most economical way for society to reach the desired outcome. But for a variety of reasons the scenario results do not necessarily reflect the least-cost ideal. Many subtleties cannot be captured in a cost optimisation framework: political preferences, feasible ramp-up rates, capital constraints and public acceptance. For the end-use sectors (buildings, transport and industry), doing a pure least-cost analysis is difficult and not always suitable.
The global ETP model, which is the primary analytical tool used, is a bottom up, technology rich model, containing more than a 1000 technology options. It supports integration and manipulation of data from four soft-linked models:
The ETP Model
The energy conversion module is a cost-optimisation model built on the TIMES framework. The demand-side modules are stock accounting simulation models. Consistency of supply, demand and price is ensured through an iterative process, as there is no hard link between the sector models. The ETP model works in five-year time steps.