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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X


WIT, Martin de; HEUN, Matthew  and  CROOKES, Douglas. An overview of salient factors, relationships and values to support integrated energy-economic system dynamics modelling. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2018, vol.29, n.4, pp.27-36. ISSN 2413-3051.

Integrated energy-economic modelling is needed to support the development of energy and climate policies. This study asserts that it is important to consider a system dynamics modelling approach that includes dynamics, endogenous treatment of uncertainty and risks, and both aggregate economic and disaggregate technical or engineering levels of analysis. The study examined the economic growth and the factors of production, elasticities, macroand technical substitutability; energy cost shares, heat engine efficiencies and energy services efficiencies. Emphasis was laid on the support of the future development of integrated energy-economic models covering (a) the key factors or components; (b) the relationships among these components; (c) a quantification of parameters; and (d) the implications for the development of an integrated energy-economic system dynamics model. The study suggested the following: a non-linear relationship in production and consumption; large variations among price and income elasticity values across time frames, across countries and regions, and across energy goods; a far from perfect substitution among factors of production and among energy goods on a macro-level; technical/engineering limits to substitution on a micro-level; and engineering and behavioural limits on what can be achieved with increased efficiencies. The study argues that integrated energy-economic modelling intensifies the accounting for the factors, relationships, quantifications, and implications, and that this practice allows for such models to describe a complex, emergent energy-economic reality that informs better energy policy. Highlights • Integrated energy-economic modelling needs to include physical and economic aspects. • Such models need to build on empirically verifiable relationships among key factors. • The main factors and interrelationships for energy-economic systems were developed. • Key factors identified are production, elasticities, substitutability (macro- and technical), energy cost share, heat engine efficiency, and energy services efficiency.

Keywords : energy-economic modelling; elasticities; technical substitution; energy efficiency; energy cost share.

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