Energy conversion - TIAM-UCL

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Model Documentation - TIAM-UCL

Corresponding documentation
Previous versions
Model information
Model link
Institution University College London (UCL), UK,
Solution concept Partial equilibrium (price elastic demand)
Solution method Linear optimisation
Anticipation Perfect Foresight

(Stochastic and myopic runs are also possible)


The electricity and heat generation sector represents many different technology types, using a wide range of fossil-based and renewables sources. The existing system is represented in generic terms whilst the options for future investments are characterised in more detail. Electricity and heat supply is temporally disaggregated across six periods (or time slices), based on three season and two diurnal periods (Day / night) to represent changes in load based on sector demand profiles.

Electricity generation plant are additionally categorised as providing electricity to the centralised or decentralised grid (CEN or DCN). Decentralised producers tend to be small scale, connected to the distribution network or serving local grids, and produce one commodity in the model while centralised producers, connected to transmission network, produce a seperate commodity.

The electricity sector Base-Year template is used to calibrate the base-year electricity and heat generation. In the Base-Year template (providing information on existing plant), characterisation of plants is fairly generic, with all production of electricity categorised as ELCC. Off-grid production (via micro-generation technologies) is not explicitly captured in the model, with small-scale generation represented in the decentralised producer group.


Figure 3.2.1: Existing Electricity Generation Capacity by Region in 2005 (Model base year), GW


Figure 3.2.2: Existing Electricity Generation Capacity by Type in 2005 (Model base year), GW

New technologies

Key technology options

New electricity generation technologies are listed in Table 3.2.1. Further work is required to include new CHP technologies, which are not available for public system or industry investment.

Table 3.2.1: New technology options for electricity

Technology Group Model Technology Description
Coal Atmospheric Fl Bed.
Air Blown IGCC.
Oxygen Blown IGCC.
Pressurized Fl Bed.
Pulverized Coal.
Gas Gas Steam.
Fuel Cells.
Dual gas / oil Gas_Oil Comb Cycle.
Advanced Gas_Oil Turbine.
Oil Oil Steam.
Generic Dist Gen for Base Load.
Generic Dist Gen for Peak Load.
Nuclear Advanced Nuclear.
Fusion Nuclear.
Advanced Nuclear LWR.
Advanced Nuclear PBMR.
Hydro* Generic Impoundment Hydro.
Generic Impoundment Hydro.
Generic Impoundment Hydro.
Generic Impoundment Hydro.
Generic Impoundment Hydro.
Generic ROR Hydro.
Biomass Crop Direct Combustion.
Crop Gasification.
Biogas from Waste.
MSW Direct Combustion.
Sld Biomass Direct Combustion.
Sld Biomass Gasification.
Sld Biomass Direct Combustion.Decentralized
Sld Biomass Gasification.Decentralized
Geothermal Shallow.
Very deep.
Solar PV* CEN.PV.T0
Solar thermal CEN.Thermal.
Wind* CEN.
  • Different tranches of renewable technologies represent differences in the cost of resources (hydro) or quality of the resource (wind, solar).

The other important file is the transformation file, which allows for regional differences to be introduced without having to duplicate technologies. For the electricity sector, the following parameters are controlled, and varied by region:

  • Costs parameters (INVCOST, FIXOM and VAROM). Operation and maintenance costs tend to be lower in developing regions, as do investment cost where those regions have a technology manufacturing base e.g. China.
  • Technology discount rate set to 10%, except for solar technologies, where the rate is higher for some regions. Higher rates are typically used for developing regions.
  • Seasonal AFs are set by region for solar technologies, accounting for different insolation values.
  • Construction time is provided for hydro and nuclear technologies - 10 years for nuclear and hydro (dam) and 5 years for hydro (run-of-river). No differentiation is made between regions.

An overview of the key parameters for the different technology groups is shown in below.

Table 3.2.2: Overview of technology characteristics by technology group (for WEU region)

Technology Group Efficiency % (range) Investment cost $/kW (range) Comment
2005 2050 2005 2050
Coal 40-49 40-49 1430-1870 1265-1662
Gas / Dual 37-57 37-57 360-1000 300-1000 Lower cost and higher efficiency values represent combined cycle technology
Oil 31-35 31-35 660-1045 660-1045
1760-1870 1760-1870 Fusion costs set at 3300 $/kW
1650-6050 1540-5400 Five dam-based technologies reflecting different cost of resource
Biomass 33-34 33-34 1870-2200 1870-2200 MSW plant significantly higher at 3850 $/kW
1925-2780 1650-2310 Three geothermal technologies reflecting different cost of resource
Solar PV
7150-11000 1485-3025 Low cost is centralised plant and high cost decentralised plant. Technology resource tranched on basis of AFs
Solar thermal
13321 13321 Single technology with no evolution on costs
1065-1650 880-1310 One backstop, one offshore (CEN) and 2 onshore (one is CEN and one is DCN) technologies. Offshore tech. represents the high costs.

Power plants with CCS technologies

For low carbon analyses, sequestration technologies in the electricity generation sector are very important.

Table 3.2.3: Overview of Power plant with CCS technology characteristics

Model Technology Description Investment cost ($/kW) Efficiency (%)
NGCC+Oxyfueling 950-1250 48-55
NGCC+CO2 removal from flue gas 800-1000 49-57
IGCC+CO2 removal from input gas 1800-2300 40-48
Conventional Pulverized Coal+Oxyfueling 1900-2400 37-44
Conventional Pulverized Coal+CO2 removal from flue gas 1850-2250 38-44
SOFC (COAL) +CO2 removal - 2030 2200 48
SOFC (GAS) +CO2 removal - 2020 1600 58
Crop Direct Combustion. With CCS 2125 33
Crop Gasification.with CCS 2500 34
Sld Biomass Direct Combustion.with CCS 1700 33
Sld Biomass Gasification.with CCS 2420 34
  • The first five technologies listed have vintages for 2010, 2020 and 2030.


Heat technologies are respresented as

  • Public CHP plant, providing electricity to the grid and heat to local networks
  • Sector CHP plant (autoproducers), providing electricity and heat to specific industries.
  • Public heat generation plant (heat only plants), providing heat to local networks

Other conversion

Alternative fuels =

Table 3.2.4 contains technologies for the production of alternative fuels. The technologies are splits into two groups: 1) Ethanol and methanol production, either from coal or biomass and 2) Fischer-Tropsch processes, producing oil products from coal, gas and biomass.

Table 3.2.4: Alternative fuel technologies

Model Technology Description
Ethanol from biomass
Cellulose ethanol plant
Methanol from Bioliquids
Methanol from coal
Methanol from coal with CO2 capture
Methanol from natural gas
Methanol from natural gas with CCS
FT fuels from natural gas
FT fuels from natural gas with CCS
FT fuels from coal
FT fuels from coal with CCS
FT fuels from coal low biomass and coal co production
FT fuels low biomass and coal co production with CCS
FT fuels high biomass and coal co production
FT fuels high biomass and coal co production with CCS
FT fuels solid biomass
FT fuels solid biomass with CCS


SubRes technologies include those used for hydrogen production and demand technologies in the transport sector that consume hydrogen. Production technologies (name starting 'H') are generic in nature and are defined by the type of fuel used - coal, natural gas, electricity and biomass.

There are also technologies, available from 2020, that allow for mixing of hydrogen into the natural gas supply to different sectors (name starting 'UP'). This mix is fixed at 15% hydrogen / 85% natural gas. A single distribution technology allows for hydrogen transport, with costs developed on the basis of unit of energy transported (using VAROM).

Table 3.2.5: Hydrogen production and supply technologies

Model Technology Description
Hydrogen from Brown coal
Hydrogen from Hard coal
Hydrogen from NGA
Hydrogen from NGA - Decentralized
Hydrogen from biomass gasification
Mix of Gas and Hydrogen - For COM
Mix of Gas and Hydrogen - For IND
Mix of Gas and Hydrogen - For RES
Distribution of hydrogen

Hydrogen technologies for cars and light duty trucks are included in the model, with different types based on the use of combustion, hybrid or fuel cell technology. The associated Trans file puts different hurdle rates on these technologies, assuming 15% for developed regions and 30% for developing regions such as Africa. The Trans file is also used to adjust efficiencies and costs across all regions, for both transport and production technologies.

Table 3.2.6 Hydrogen technologies in transport sector

Technology Description Year LIFE INVCOST FIXOM EFF
CAR: .05.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2006 12.5 2000 80 0.372
CAR: .10.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2008 12.5 1750 80 0.393
CAR: .15.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2015 12.5 1600 80 0.404
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2020 12.5 1528 80 0.415
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Carbon sto. 2020 12.5 1929 80 0.446
CAR: .05.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2006 12.5 2500 80 0.496
CAR: .10.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2008 12.5 2000 80 0.498
CAR: .15.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2015 12.5 1750 80 0.511
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2020 12.5 1674 80 0.525
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Carbon sto. 2020 12.5 2074 80 0.594
CAR: .05.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2006 12.5 5000 80 0.685
CAR: .10.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2008 12.5 2500 80 0.688
CAR: .15.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2015 12.5 2200 80 0.707
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2020 12.5 1892 80 0.726
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Carbon sto. 2020 12.5 2293 80 0.780
CAR: .05.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2006 12.5 2500 80 0.737
CAR: .10.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2008 12.5 2000 80 0.740
CAR: .15.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2015 12.5 1800 80 0.760
CAR: .20.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2020 12.5 1608 80 0.780
LIGHT TRUCK: .05.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2006 15 2000 75 0.248
LIGHT TRUCK: .10.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2008 15 1750 75 0.262
LIGHT TRUCK: .15.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2015 15 1600 75 0.269
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Liq sto. 2020 15 1528 75 0.276
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Combustion.Carbon sto. 2020 15 1929 75 0.030
LIGHT TRUCK: .05.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2006 15 2500 75 0.331
LIGHT TRUCK: .10.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2008 15 2000 75 0.332
LIGHT TRUCK: .15.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2015 15 1750 75 0.341
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Liq sto. 2020 15 1674 75 0.350
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Hybrid.Carbon sto. 2020 15 2074 75 0.396
LIGHT TRUCK: .05.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2006 15 5000 75 0.457
LIGHT TRUCK: .10.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2008 15 2500 75 0.459
LIGHT TRUCK: .15.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2015 15 2200 75 0.471
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Liq sto. 2020 15 1892 75 0.484
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Carbon sto. 2020 15 2293 75 0.520
LIGHT TRUCK: .05.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2006 15 2500 75 0.491
LIGHT TRUCK: .10.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2008 15 2000 75 0.493
LIGHT TRUCK: .15.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2015 15 1800 75 0.507
LIGHT TRUCK: .20.AFV.HH2.Fuel cell.Gas sto. 2020 15 1608 75 0.520

Table 3.2.7 Hydrogen production technologies in ETSAP-TIAM

Electrolysis 1.25 30 0.1 30 0.95 0.85
Hydrogen from NGA 1.23 20 0.1 10 0.56 0.95
Hydrogen from Hardcoal 1.59 20 0.1 33.5 1.5 0.2 0.95
Hydrogen from Browncoal 1.59 20 0.1 33.5 1.5 0.2 0.95
Hydrogen from NGA - Decentralized 1.33 20 0.1 10 0.56 2.0 0.95
Hydrogen from biomass gasification 1.59 25 0.1 100 1.08 0.85


Sequestration technologies and storage options mainly relate to the electricity sector, and are described in the relevant sector chapter of this report.

There are two technologies that allow for the capture of CO2 emissions (process-based) in the upstream sector. The costs of such 'dummy' capture technologies are modelled simply, using variable costs of 0.001 (equivalent to $1/tCO2).

Another set of important technologies for integrated climate modelling are those that relate to emissions and removals by the forestry sector. Labelled SINKAF*. The levels of emissions and removals and the associated costs are controlled by the Trans file and are based on assumptions used in the EMF analysis. Finally, atmospheric CO2 may be partly absorbed and fixed by biological sinks such as forests; the model has six options for forestation and avoided deforestation, as described in Sathaye et al. (2005) and adopted by the Energy Modelling Forum, EMF-21 and 22 groups.

Land-use CO2

The SubRes file LUCO2 defines a single technology that emits fixed levels of emissions by region each period. It is net CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It does not include emissions from land use. The levels are calculated in the associated Trans file. The global emission level in 2005 is estimated at 2.7 GtCO2 per year, which decreases to 0.1 GtCO2 by 2100.Allocation by region is based on distribution of agricultural managed land. It is assumed that LULUCF emissions for UK is zero and therefore, WEU region?s LULUCF emission has not been changed. There are scenarios in the model with reduced emissions from deforestation based on the EMF 21 study scenarios.

Grid and infrastructure

No representation of grids in TIAM-UCL except Electricity generation can be centralised or decentralised (CEN or DCN). A generic cost and efficiency loss associated with distribution are included for Gas pipelines and electricity.

The range of CO2 storage technologies in the model are listed below.

Table 3.2.8: Types of storage technologies

Model Technology Description
Removal by Enhanced Coalbed Meth recov <1000 m
Removal by Enhanced Coalbed Meth recov >1000 m
Removal by Depl gas fields (offshore)
Removal by Depl gas fields (onshore)
Removal by Storage in the deep ocean
Removal by Depl oil fields (offshore)
Removal by Depl oil fields (onshore)
Removal by Deep saline aquifers
Removal by Enhanced Oil Recovery
Mineralization for CO2 storage