What’s the scenario?

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Knowledge transfer | No Comments

The recharge.green project is coming to a close, and with that, IIASA researchers are now working to put together all the pieces they have been modeling over the past two years. What comes out of the model in the end will be a set of around 150 scenarios, which – in their combinations – show a whole range of possible development pathways for four types of renewable energy: wind, hydropower, solar, and biomass.

IIASA models often produce scenarios, which are like stories about the future, but can include detailed quantitative information about a system and its interactions. Scenarios are not predictions or projections, but a way for people to understand the interactions between things, and determine how much different choices may cost, and what impacts they will have.

This image shows a mock-up the Decision Support Tool, which will be the outcome of IIASA’s work on the recharge.green project.  The menu on the left allows the used to select scenarios or desired output dimensions (power, emissions, costs).

This image shows a mock-up of the Decision Support System Tool, which will be the outcome of IIASA’s work on the recharge.green project. The menu on the left allows the user to select scenarios or desired output dimensions (e.g. power, emissions, costs).

In the case of recharge.green, the scenarios attempt to provide a holistic range of possibilities for renewable energy development in the Alps. In addition to the mix of renewable energy, policymakers and other stakeholders will be able to set different levels of ecosystem protection, different energy targets, fossil fuel price, and carbon price. Changing these variables will allow them to see how their choices and possible outside influences like fossil fuel price fit in with their goals.

The scenarios will be made available as part of a “Decision Support System,” a tool that policymakers can use to explore the complex interactions in order to define the best portfolio for renewable energy projects, on both a local and regional scale.

 

    Katherine Leitzell

    About Katherine Leitzell

    Katherine Leitzell is a science writer at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), in Laxenburg Austria. IIASA researchers are working on the economic-ecological modelling for the recharge.green project.

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