Hybrid simulation modeling to estimate U.S. energy elasticities

Date created: 
Elasticity of substitution
Hybrid energy-economy model
Autonomous energy efficiency index
Rebound effect
Fuel switching

This paper demonstrates how an U.S. application of CIMS, a technologically explicit and behaviourally realistic energy-economy simulation model which includes macro- economic feedbacks, can be used to derive estimates of elasticity of substitution (ESUB) and autonomous energy efficiency index (AEEI) parameters. The ability of economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depends on the potential for households and industry to decrease overall energy usage, and move from higher to lower emissions fuels. Energy economists commonly refer to ESUB estimates to understand the degree of responsiveness of various sectors of an economy, and use estimates to inform computable general equilibrium models used to study climate policies. Using CIMS, I have generated a set of future, ‘pseudo-data’ based on a series of simulations in which I vary energy and capital input prices over a wide range. I then used this data set to estimate the parameters for transcendental logarithmic production functions using regression techniques. From the production function parameter estimates, I calculated an array of elasticity of substitution values between input pairs. Additionally, this paper demonstrates how CIMS can be used to calculate price- independent changes in energy-efficiency in the form of the AEEI, by comparing energy consumption between technologically frozen and ‘business as usual’ simulations. The paper concludes with some ideas for model and methodological improvement, and how these might figure into future work in the estimation of ESUBs from CIMS.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
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Mark Jaccard
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.