Keywords: energy-, economy modelling, sustainable development, global climate change, technological progress, ecological economics
Integrating sustainability in energy policy modelling
As a major challenge to humanity, sustainable development calls for safe, environmentally sound, and economically viable energy pathways. This is a global challenge, not only to energy policy change and defining operational terms of sustainability, but also to improving analytical tools and modelling frameworks. To this end, fundamental requirements of sustainable development are discussed from a conceptual and theoretical point of view. From an energy policy and modelling perspective, special reference is given to the issue of global climate change which constitutes a major challenge for energy policy and sustainable development. Efficiency, equity, ecological integrity, and technological change are introduced as fundamental aspects that need to be considered in a comprehensive sustainability framework. Since these issues cannot be suitably included within the frame of a single model, a combination of ecological, economic, technological and demographic models to analyse different aspects of global and national energy systems and sustainable development is proposed. In particular, the combination of energy-technology allocation models and general equilibrium models is suggested as appropriate framework to identify the major economic problems related to global climate change, to assess alternative policy instruments, and to simulate the consequences of their implementation.