Reference card - POLES

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The reference card is a clearly defined description of model features. The numerous options have been organized into a limited amount of default and model specific (non default) options. In addition some features are described by a short clarifying text.


  • not implemented
  • implemented
  • implemented (not default option)


Name and version

POLES ADVANCE (other versions are in use in other applications)

Institution and users

JRC - Joint Research Centre - European Commission (EC-JRC), Belgium,
main users: - European Commission, JRC - Universite de Grenoble UPMF, France - Enerdata


POLES documentation consists of a referencecard and detailed model documentation

Model scope and methods

Model documentation: Model scope and methods - POLES


POLES was originally developed to assess energy markets, combining a detailed description of energy demand, transformation and primary supply for all energy vectors. It provides full energy balances on a yearly basis using frequent data updates to as to deliver robust forecasts for both short and long-term horizons. It has quickly been used, in the late 90s, to assess energy-related CO2 mitigation policies. Over time other GHG emissions have been included (energy and industry non-CO2 from the early 2000s), and linkages with agricultural and land use models have been progressively implemented.


Partial equilibrium

Solution method

Recursive simulation



Temporal dimension

Base year:1990-2015 (data up to current time -1/-2), time steps:Yearly, horizon: 2050-2100

Note: Energy markets: yearly step Power generation: 2-hour time steps in representative days

Spatial dimension

Number of regions:57

Note: Complete energy balances: 57 countries / regions covering the World, including detailed EU28, all OECD countries and main non-OECD countries Fossil fuel supply: 80 countries / regions

Policy implementation

- Energy taxes per sector and fuel, carbon pricing - Feed-in tariffs, green certificates, low interest rates, investment subsidies - Fuel efficiency standards in vehicles and buildings, white certificates

Socio economic drivers

Model documentation: Socio-economic drivers - POLES

Exogenous drivers

  • Exogenous GDP
  • Total Factor Productivity
  • Labour Productivity
  • Capital Technical progress
  • Energy Technical progress
  • Materials Technical progress
  • GDP per capita
  • Population

Endogenous drivers

  • Value added
  • Mobility needs
  • Fossil fuel prices
  • Buildings surfaces


  • GDP per capita
  • Income distribution in a region
  • Urbanisation rate
  • Education level
  • Labour participation rate

Macro economy

Model documentation: Macro-economy - POLES

Economic sectors

  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Services

Cost measures

  • GDP loss
  • Welfare loss
  • Consumption loss
  • Area under MAC
  • Energy system costs

Note: Investments: supply-side only


  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Uranium
  • Electricity
  • Bioenergy crops
  • Food crops
  • Capital
  • Emissions permits
  • Non-energy goods
  • Liquid biofuels


Model documentation: Energy - POLES


Activity drivers depend on income per capita and energy prices via elasticities. Energy demand depends on activity drivers, energy prices and technology costs. Primary energy supply depends on remaining resources, production cost and price effects.

Resource use

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Uranium
  • Biomass

Electricity technologies

  • Coal
  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Nuclear
  • Biomass
  • Wind
  • Solar PV
  • CCS
  • Hydropower
  • Geothermal
  • Solar CSP
  • Ocean

Conversion technologies

  • CHP
  • Heat pumps
  • Hydrogen
  • Fuel to gas
  • Fuel to liquid

Grid and infrastructure

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Heat
  • CO2
  • H2

Energy technology substitution

  • Discrete technology choices
  • Expansion and decline constraints
  • System integration constraints

Energy service sectors

  • Transportation
  • Industry
  • Residential and commercial


Model documentation: Land-use - POLES; Non-climate sustainability dimension - POLES


  • Cropland
  • Forest
  • Grassland
  • Urban Areas
  • Desert

Other resources

Model documentation: Non-climate sustainability dimension - POLES

Other resources

  • Water
  • Metals
  • Cement

Note: Steel tons

Emissions and climate

Model documentation: Emissions - POLES; Climate - POLES

Green house gasses

  • CO2
  • CH4
  • N2O
  • HFCs
  • CFCs
  • SF6
  • PFCs


  • NOx
  • SOx
  • BC
  • OC
  • Ozone

Climate indicators

  • CO2e concentration (ppm)
  • Climate damages $ or equivalent
  • Radiative Forcing (W/m2 )
  • Temperature change (°C)