ADVANCE project

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Application type: 5. Scientific research
Role of IMAGE framework: The IMAGE team led the ADVANCE work package which improved the representation of energy demand in IAMs. In addition, IMAGE participated in all other work packages, covering topics like: model documentation, heterogeneity, subsidies, taxes, uncertainty, technological learning, renewable integration, life cycle assessment, water energy nexus, infrastructure and policy relevance.
Summary: The ADVANCE project improved the representations of complex system interactions and thoroughly validated model behavior in order to increase confidence in climate policy assessments.
Key publication(s): ADVANCE publications, Edelenbosch et al., 2017b
Referred by: Energy conversion, Energy demand, Energy supply, Energy supply and demand

ADVANCE project

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) have become central tools used in forming long-term global and regional climate mitigation strategies. However, sound policy advice requires improved representations of complex system interactions and thorough validation of model behaviour, in order to increase confidence in climate policy assessments. To respond to this demand, the ADVANCE project formulated the following objectives:

  • Development of a new generation of IAMs for the analysis of climate change mitigation policies;
  • Improving the level of confidence that politicians have in the results of IAMs by increasing transparency;
  • Model validation with the aim of evaluating their strengths and limitations;
  • Improvement of the representation of energy demand: especially energy services, technologies, and consumer behaviour;
  • Enhanced representation of technological innovation, uncertainty, and system integration;
  • Evaluation of the impacts of mitigation policies on economic sectors in the EU and beyond;
  • Creation of a platform for sharing methodologies and input data sets in the modelling community.

Based on improved IAMs, the ADVANCE project answered to the following key questions:

  • What is the role of energy efficiency improvements for climate change mitigation?
  • What are the bottlenecks for the development of a low-carbon energy supply system?
  • What are broader sustainability implications of alternative mitigation pathways?
  • How does uncertainty about technological innovation affect optimal innovation policies?
  • How can climate change mitigation targets and energy access objectives be reconciled?

Model Documentation: As part of the ADVANCE project, harmonised model documentation has been elaborated for all energy-economic and Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) included in the project. The documentation enhanced the understanding of models, as well as the comparability and interpretability of their results. To achieve comparability, model-specific reference cards have been made for all models. The Reference card for IMAGE 3.0 is also presented on this website. If you are interested in model comparison, visit the Model comparison page of the ADVANCE project.