Model Documentation - REMIND

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Model Documentation - REMIND
Corresponding documentation
Model information
Institution Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)
Concept Hybrid

Hybrid model that couples an economic growth model with a detailed energy system model and a simple climate model.

Solution method Inter-temporal optimization that maximizes cumulated discounted global welfare: Ramsey-type growth model with Negishi approach to regional welfare aggregation.
Anticipation Perfect Foresight

This document describes the Integrated Assessment Model REMIND, which stands for “Regional Model of Investments and Development”, in its version 1.7. It updates the documentation of the previous model version 1.6. The model was originally introduced by Leimbach et al. (2010b). More information—including a documentation of the system of equations—is available on the REMIND website. [1]

REMIND is a global energy-economy-climate model spanning the years 2005-2100. Figure 1 illustrates its general structure. The macro-economic core of REMIND is a Ramsey-type optimal growth model in which inter-temporal welfare is maximized. REMIND divides the world into 11 regions: five individual countries (China, India, Japan, United States of America, and Russia) and six aggregated regions formed by the remaining countries (European Union, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa without South Africa, Middle East / North Africa / Central Asia, other Asia, Rest of the World). The model computes the market equilibrium either as a Pareto optimal solution in which global welfare is maximized (cooperative solution assuming all externalities are internalized), or as a non-cooperative Nash solution in which welfare is optimized on the regional level without internalization of interregional externalities. The model explicitly represents trade in final goods, primary energy carriers, and in the case of climate policy, emissions allowances. Macro-economic production factors are capital, labor, and final energy. REMIND uses economic output for investments in the macro-economic capital stock as well as consumption, trade, and energy system expenditures.

The macro-economic core and the energy system module are hard-linked via the final energy demand and costs incurred by the energy system. Economic activity results in demand for final energy such as transport energy, electricity, and non-electric energy for stationary end uses. A production function with constant elasticity of substitution (nested CES production function) determines the final energy demand. The energy system module accounts for endowments of exhaustible primary energy resources as well as renewable energy potentials. More than 50 technologies are available for the conversion of primary energy into secondary energy carriers as well as for the distribution of secondary energy carriers into final energy.

REMIND uses reduced-form emulators derived from the detailed land-use and agricultural model MAgPIE to represent land-use and agricultural emissions as well as bioenergy supply and other land-based mitigation options. REMIND can also be run in fully coupled mode with the MAgPIE model (Lotze-Campen et al. 2008).

The model accounts for the full range of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most of which are represented by source. The MAGICC 6 (Meinshausen et al. 2011b) climate model is used to translate emissions into changes in atmospheric composition, radiative forcing and climate change.

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Figure 1. General structure of the REMIND model.

In terms of its macro-economic formulation, REMIND resembles other well established integrated assessment models such as RICE (Nordhaus and Yang 1996) and MERGE (Manne et al. 1995). However, REMIND is broader in scope and features a substantially higher level of detail in the representation of energy-system technologies, trade, and global capital markets. In contrast to RICE, REMIND does not monetize climate damages, and therefore is not applied to determine a (hypothetical) economically optimal level of climate change mitigation ("cost-benefit mode"), but rather efficient strategies to attain an exogenously prescribed climate target ("cost-effectiveness mode").

Table 1 provides an overview of REMIND's key features. Sections 2-5 describe individual modules, along with the relevant parameters and assumptions. Section 6 lists the model's strength and limits.

Table 1. Key features of REMIND, and reference to the relevant sections in this documentation.

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  1. See http://www.pik-potsdam.de/research/research-domains/sustainable-solutions/REMIND-code-1 for further documentation on REMIND. The model is programmed in GAMS.