Looking Under the Hood: A Comparison of Techno-Economic Assumptions Across National and Global Integrated Assessment Models

Matteo Muratori, Volker Krey, Fei Guo, Peter Kolp, Wenji Zhou, Roberto Schaeffer, Aayushi Awasthy, Christoph Bertram, Harmen-Sytze Boer, Panagiotis Fragkos, Shinichiro Fujimori, Chenmin He, Gokul Iyer, Kimon Keramidas, Alexandre Koberle, Ken Oshiro, Lara Reis, Bianka Shoai-Tehrani, Saritha Vishwanathan, Pantelis CaprosLaurent Drouet, James Edmonds, Amit Garg, David Gernaat, Kejun Jiang, Maria Kannavou, Alban Kitous, Elmar Kriegler, Gunnar Luderer, Ritu Mathur, Fuminori Sano, Detlef van Vuuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus Citations


Integrated assessment models are extensively used in the analysis of climate change mitigation and are informing national decision makers as well as contribute to international scientific assessments. This paper conducts a comprehensive review of techno-economic assumptions in the electricity sector among fifteen different global and national integrated assessment models. Particular focus is given to six major economies in the world: Brazil, China, the EU, India, Japan and the US. The comparison reveals that techno-economic characteristics are quite different across integrated assessment models, both for the base year and future years. It is, however, important to recognize that techno-economic assessments from the literature exhibit an equally large range of parameters as the integrated assessment models reviewed. Beyond numerical differences, the representation of technologies also differs among models, which needs to be taken into account when comparing numerical parameters. While desirable, it seems difficult to fully harmonize techno-economic parameters across a broader range of models due to structural differences in the representation of technology. Therefore, making techno-economic parameters available in the future, together with of the technology representation as well as the exact definitions of the parameters should become the standard approach as it allows an open discussion of appropriate assumptions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1254-1267
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-73534


  • Capital and O&M costs
  • Conversion efficiency
  • Integrated assessment models
  • Levelised cost of energy
  • Lifetime
  • Techno-economic assumptions


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