News Flash 15 Febuary 1999
MARKAL family of models presented in India

In the first week of February (1-4) 1999, the MARKAL family of models was presented at the Workshop on Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) and climate change policy analysis for Asia, held at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, India. Presentations were also given at TERI and the India Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

Gary Goldstein from International Resources Group presented a paper, co-authored by the ETSAP Partners, titled:

Energy Planning and the Development of Carbon Mitigation Strategies
Using the Markal Family of Models

The paper introduces the reader to the MARKAL family of models and provides an overview of the major members of the family, enhancements, and the newest member of the family, TIMES, which will be formally introduced in April 1999. MARKAL represents one class of model that has been used in the analysis of carbon mitigation efforts.


The MARKAL family is only one of several decision frameworks that have been used in this type of analysis. However, this family has found wide application in both developed and developing or transitional economies. As a result, the framework has gained wide acceptance and credibility in the international community. In addition, the methodology is highly scalable, enabling a consistent approach to be employed at multi-national, country, state or municipal level to support energy policy decision-making and the planning function. This makes it a prime candidate among modeling techniques that might be used in a capacity building program which may evolve in response to commitments to reduce greenhouse gases globally.

One intent of this paper is to provide the user with a sense of the international commitment to continual innovation and evolution of the methodology. This is unique in that the methodology constantly benefits from the contribution of talented researchers from a number of institutions around the world, as opposed to being the product of a single institution. To enable such a collaborative approach to be undertaken for model development, the methodology is implemented as an open architecture using the General Algebraic Modeling System.

In the rest of this paper the various incarnations of MARKAL are described. With few exceptions, the individual capabilities described are additive in nature, that is they can be used in combination with each other where appropriate. However, in some instances, features are mutually exclusive as they represent different modeling techniques which address the same functionality, for example MACRO/MICRO/MED each address the need of demand levels to respond to prices.

For the full paper or more information, please contact: Gary Goldstein.