Inderscience Publishers

The treatment of technology development in energy models

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The paper addresses some key issues in the application of projections for technology development in models used to analyse large-scale energy systems. Examples of technology development in the electricity and transport industry are used to illustrate the difficulties. It is suggested that projections should be obtained from uncommitted sources and standard assessment criteria used. Factors in addition to cost influence the overall attractiveness of a technology and should be included in its characterisation. The prospects for a reduction in costs by learning as technology develops should be contrasted for renewable technologies with a progressive reduction in suitability of available sites as installed capacity increases. In general, an approach based on knowledge of the factors influencing the take-up of technology is advocated (even when poorly understood) rather than 'black-box' modelling.

Keywords: technology development, energy model, electricity, transport

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