Identifying energy model fingerprints in mitigation scenarios

Energy models are used to study emissions mitigation pathways, such as those compatible with the Paris Agreement goals. These models vary in structure, objectives, parameterisation, and level of detail, yielding differences in the computed energy and climate policy scenarios. To study model differences, diagnostic indicators are common practice in many academic fields, for example in the physical climate sciences. However, they have not yet been applied systematically in mitigation literature beyond addressing individual model dimensions. Here, this study addresses this gap by quantifying energy model typology along five dimensions: responsiveness, mitigation strategies, energy supply, energy demand, and mitigation costs and effort, each expressed through several diagnostic indicators. 

The framework is applied to a diagnostic experiment with eight energy models in which we explore ten scenarios focusing on Europe. Comparing indicators to the ensemble yields comprehensive ‘energy model fingerprints’, which describe systematic model behaviour and contextualize model differences for future multi-model comparison studies.


PBL Authors
Mark Dekker Vassilis Daioglou Harmen Sytze de Boer Mathijs Harmsen Detlef van Vuuren
Other authors
Robert Pietzcker
Renato Rodrigues
Francesco Dalla Longa
Laurent Drouet
Johannes Emmerling
Amir Fattahi
Theofano Fotiou
Panagiotis Fragkos
Oliver Fricko
Ema Gusheva
Daniel Huppmann
Maria Kannavou
Volker Krey
Francesco Lombardi
Gunnar Luderer
Stefan Pfenninger
Ioannis Tsiropoulos
Behnam Zakeri
Bob van der Zwaan
Will Usher


Publication title
Identifying energy model fingerprints in mitigation scenarios
Publication date
6 November 2023
Publication type
Publication language
Nature Energy
Product number