, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 63-79

Application of a checklist for quality assistance in environmental modelling to an energy model

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Abstract

Large, complex energy models present considerable challenges to develop and test. Uncertainty assessments of such models provide only partial guidance on the quality of the results. We have developed a model quality assistance checklist to aid in this purpose. The model checklist provides diagnostic output in the form of a set of pitfalls for the model application. The checklist is applied here to an energy model for the problem of assessing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Use of the checklist suggests that results on this issue are contingent on a number of assumptions that are highly value-laden. When these assumptions are held fixed, the model is deemed capable of producing moderately robust results of relevance to climate policy over the longer term. Checklist responses also indicate that a number of details critical to policy choices or outcomes on this issue are not captured in the model, and model results should therefore be supplemented with alternative analyses.