Energy modeling comparisons

The critical importance of technology and the resulting need for enhanced innovation efforts for climate protection was comprehensively assessed and illustrated through two major international modeling intercomparison exercises that were completed in 2014: the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF27) and the EU project AMPERE.

© Ronniechua | Dreamstime

© Ronniechua | Dreamstime

For these activities the modeling frameworks developed by the Energy (ENE) Program at IIASA provided critical inputs and Transitions to New Technology (TNT) scientists joined their ENE colleagues in these major endeavors, providing critical information for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5).

The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF27) conducted a massive modeling intercomparison project which illustrated the critical importance of technology and innovation uncertainty. It was coordinated on the IIASA side by Keywan Riahi and summarized in a special issue of Climatic Change [1]. This, together with earlier TNT research on innovation technology portfolio and investment biases [2] figured prominently in several chapters of AR5.

AMPERE used state-of-the art models to develop long-term strategies to drastically lessen the global impact of climate change. A special issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change [3] was released, providing an overview of the AMPERE modeling comparison project with a focus on the implications of near-term policies for the costs and attainability of long-term climate objectives. Nine international modeling teams participated.

The results from these intercomparisons underpin IPCC AR5 conclusions regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction needs, mitigation costs, upscaling efforts of zero-carbon technologies, and the role of new technologies in climate protection.


[1] Weyant J, Kriegler E, Blanford G, Krey V, Edmond J, Riahi K, Richels R, and Tavoni, M (eds) (2014). Special Issue on “The EMF27 Study on Global Technology and Climate Policy Strategies”. Climatic Change, 123, Issue 3-4. 

[2] Wilson C, Grubler A, Gallagher KS, Nemet GF (2012). Marginalization of end-use technologies in energy innovation for climate protection. Nature Climate Change, 2(11):780-788. (Published online 26 October 2012)

[3 ] Kriegler E, Riahi K, Bosetti V, Capros P, van Vuuren DP, Weyant JP, Edenhofer O (2015). Special Section: The AMPERE Intermodel Comparison on the Economics of Climate Stabilization. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90 (Part.A):1-354.

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Last edited: 28 April 2015


Keywan Riahi

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Principal Research Scholar Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Principal Research Scholar Pollution Management Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Principal Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Pathways (AMPERE)

Research Project

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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