Energy - GCAM

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Alert-warning.png Note: The documentation of GCAM is 'under review' and is not yet 'published'!

Model Documentation - GCAM

Corresponding documentation
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Model information
Model link
Institution Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joint Global Change Research Institute (PNNL, JGCRI), USA,
Solution concept General equilibrium (closed economy)GCAM solves all energy, water, and land markets simultaneously
Solution method Recursive dynamic solution method
Anticipation GCAM is a dynamic recursive model, meaning that decision-makers do not know the future when making a decision today. After it solves each period, the model then uses the resulting state of the world, including the consequences of decisions made in that period - such as resource depletion, capital stock retirements and installations, and changes to the landscape - and then moves to the next time step and performs the same exercise. For long-lived investments, decision-makers may account for future profit streams, but those estimates would be based on current prices. For some parts of the model, economic agents use prior experience to form expectations based on multi-period experiences.

The overall structure of the energy system can be thought of as consisting of three main elements: energy resources, energy transformation, and final energy demands. It also tracks international trade in energy commodities. Consistent with the overall structure of GCAM, all the different elements of GCAM interact through market prices and physical flows of, for example, electricity. Technology choices are made based on prices using discrete choice methods. GCAM's energy system is described in detail in the following documentation sections:

  1. Supply of energy
  2. Demand for energy
  3. Energy technologies
  4. Additional details about energy