The project uses a suite of mathematical models, which are updated and operational, covering all greenhouse gas emissions and all possible ways of emission reductions. The suite comprises models which are linked with each other in formal ways, so as to ensure consistency in the building of scenarios.

The models are specialized in the representation of sub-systems and the suite of inter-linked models cover the entire economy-wide system, including the energy system (demand and supply sectors), the transportation sectors, the industrial processes, the sectors emitting non CO2 GHG, agriculture, forestry, and all sectors related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). The models represent both emission formation and emission removals for all sectors. The models covers CO2 emissions from energy, including emissions from maritime and aviation bunkers, CO2 emissions from processes, CH4, N2O, the fluorinated GHG and air polluters, such as SO2, NOx, PM2.5, VOC and NH3. The models also cover major sinks for CO2 (LULUCF including forestry and agriculture) .

The suite of models combines technical with economic methodology to assess system and economic implications of policies in relation to emission reduction possibilities resulting from policy options, structural and technology changes. A large variety of policy options are represented in the modelling system. The model suite also includes a detailed economy-environment model to assess economic, environmental and social implications. The model suite is fully operational and has a successful record of use in impact assessments for the Energy and Climate policies of the European Commission.

The following picture schematically shows the model inter-linkages:

Image Map
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A fully stochastic World energy model used for assessing uncertainties and risks associated with the main energy aggregates including uncertainties associated with economic growth and resource endowment as well as the impact of policy actions (R&D on specific technologies, taxes, standards, subsidies and other supports). The model projects endogenously to the future the world energy prices, supply, demand and emissions for 10 World regions. World fossil fuel price trajectories are used for the EU modelling as import price assumptions for PRIMES.

Model documentation
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The GEM-E3 (World and Europe) model is an applied general equilibrium model, simultaneously representing World regions and European countries, linked through endogenous bilateral trade flows and environmental flows. The European model is including the EU countries, the Accession Countries and Switzerland. The world model version includes 18 regions among which a grouping of European Union states. GEM-E3 aims at covering the interactions between the economy, the energy system and the environment. It is a comprehensive model of the economy, the productive sectors, consumption, price formation of commodities, labour and capital, investment and dynamic growth. The model is dynamic, recursive over time, driven by accumulation of capital and equipment. Technology progress is explicitly represented in the production function, either exogenous or endogenous, depending on R&D expenditure by private and public sector and taking into account spillovers effects. The current GEM-E3 version has been updated to the GTAP7 database (base year 2004) and has been updated with the latest Eurostat statistics for the EU Member States.

Short model documentation Detailed model documentation
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The PRIMES model simulates the response of energy consumers and the energy supply systems to different pathways of economic development and exogenous constraints and drivers. It is a modelling system that simulates a market equilibrium solution in the European Union and its member states. The model determines the equilibrium by finding the prices of each energy form such that the quantity producers find best to supply match the quantity consumers wish to use. The equilibrium is forwarding looking and includes dynamic relationships for capital accumulation and technology vintages. The model is behavioural formulating agents’ decisions according to micro economic theory, but it also represents in an explicit and detailed way the available energy demand and supply technologies and pollution abatement technologies. The system reflects considerations about market competition economics, industry structure, energy /environmental policies and regulation. These are conceived so as to influence market behaviour of energy system agents. The modular structure of PRIMES reflects a distribution of decision making among agents that decide individually about their supply, demand, combined supply and demand, and prices. Then the market integrating part of PRIM ES simulates market clearing. PRIMES is a partial equilibrium model simulating the entire energy system both in demand and in supply; it contains a mixed representations of bottom-up and top-down elements. The PRIMES model covers the 27 EU Member States as well as candidate and neighbour states (Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, South East Europe ). The timeframe of the model is 2000 to 2050 by five-year periods; the years up to 2005 are calibrated to Eurostat data.

The level of detail of the model is large as it contains:

  • 12 industrial sectors, subdivided into 26 sub-sectors using energy in 12 generic processes (e.g. air compression, furnaces)
  • 5 tertiary sectors, using energy in 6 processes (e.g. air conditioning, office equipment)
  • 4 dwelling types using energy in 5 processes (e.g. water heating, cooking) and 12 types of electrical durable goods (e.g. refrigerator, washing machine, television)
  • 4 transport modes, 10 transport means (e.g. cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks, airplanes) and 10 vehicle technologies (e.g. internal combustion engine, hybrid cars)
  • 14 fossil fuel types, new fuel carriers (hydrogen, biofuels) 10 renewable energy types
  • Main Supply System: power and steam generation with 150 power and steam technologies and 240 grid interconnections
  • Other sub-systems: refineries, gas supply, biomass supply, hydrogen supply, primary energy production
  • 7 types of emissions from energy processing (e.g. SO2, NOx, PM)
  • CO2 emissions from industrial processes
  • GHG emissions and abatement (using IIASA’s marginal abatement cost curves for non CO2 GHGs).

Model documentation
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The PRIMES-TREMOVE Transport Model projects the evolution of demand for passengers and freight transport by transport mode and transport mean, based on economic, utility and technology choices of transportation consumers, and projects the derived fuel consumption and emissions of pollutants. Operation costs, investment costs, emission costs, taxes and other public policies, utility and congestion influence the choice of transportation modes and means. The new transportation model is much more detailed than the previous version and its mathematical structure is considerably more enhanced. It is essentially a dynamic system of multi-agent choices under several constraints, which are not necessarily binding simultaneously. Part of the model (e.g. the utility nested tree) was built following the TREMOVE model. Other parts, as for example the component on fuel consumption, follow the COPERT model.

Various policies and energy and environment related issues may be studied including:

  • Pricing policies, e.g. subsidies and taxes
  • Technology diffusion and infrastructure
  • Development of new transport fuels (e.g. bio-fuels, hydrogen, electricity, etc.)
  • Climate change policies (e.g. carbon tax, ETS)
  • The model can either be used as a stand-alone model or may be coupled with the rest of the PRIMES energy systems model. In the later case the integration with the PRIMES model enhances the dynamic character of the model, since the interaction of the different energy sectors is taken into account in an iterative way.

Model documentation
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PRIMES Biomass Supply


The biomass system model is linked with the PRIMES large scale energy model for Europe and can be either solved as a satellite model through a closed-loop process or as a stand-alone model. The biomass model follows the standards of the PRIMES model: it covers all the EU countries and other associated European countries; it performs dynamic projections to the future from 2000 until 2030 in 5-year time period step; it is calibrated to base years 2000 and 2005 so as to reproduce Eurostat statistics; it computes endogenously the energy and resource balances, the investments, the costs and prices, and the emission of pollutants. The model represents policy instruments, such as taxes, subsidies, technology progress, emission and other policy constraints, and certificate or allowances markets.

It is an economic supply model that computes the optimal use of biomass/waste resources and investment in secondary and final transformation, so as to meet a given demand of final biomass/waste energy products, projected to the future by the rest of the PRIMES model. The biomass supply model determines the consumer prices of the final biomass/waste products used for energy purposes and also the consumption of other energy products in the production, transportation and processing of the biomass/waste products. Prices and energy consumption are conveyed to the rest of the PRIMES model. A closed-loop is therefore established. Upon convergence, a complete energy and biomass scenario can be constructed.

According to the model structure primary commodity (e.g. raw biomass, organic wastes etc) is produced/derived from the primary resource (e.g. biomass energy crops). The primary commodity is, in general, passed through a pre-processing stage (e.g. drying) that produces a secondary/intermediate commodity. The secondary commodity is the input to the transformation process from which the final energy product (e.g. bio-fuel) is derived. Logistics are taken into account as part of the different processes.

Model documentation
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The GAINS model is an integrated assessment model that brings together information on the sources and impacts of air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions and their interactions. GAINS is an extension of the earlier RAINS (Regional Air Pollution Information and Simulation) model, which addressed air pollution aspects only. GAINS brings together data on economic development, the structure, control potential and costs of emission sources, the formation and dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere and an assessment of environmental impacts of pollution. GAINS addresses air pollution impacts on human health from fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone, vegetation damage caused by ground-level ozone, the acidification of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and excess nitrogen deposition) of soils, in addition to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. GAINS describes the inter­relations between these multiple effects and the range of pollutants (SO2, NOx, PM, NMVOC, NH3, CO2, CH4, N2O, F-gases) that contribute to these effects at the European scale.

Model documentation Non-CO2 Methodology Report
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Eurocare GmbH

CAPRI is a success story of an economic model developed by European Commission research funds. Operational since more than a decade, it supports decision making related to the Common Agricultural Policy and Environmental policy related to agriculture based on sound scientific quantitative analysis. CAPRI is only viable due to its Pan-European network of researchers which based on an open source approach tender together for projects, develop and maintain the model, apply it for policy impact assessment, write scientific publications and consult clients based on its results.

Short model documentation Methodology reportDetailed model documentation
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The Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) has been developed and is used at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). GLOBIOM is a global recursive dynamic partial equilibrium model integrating the agricultural, bioenergy and forestry sectors with the aim to provide policy analysis on global issues concerning land use competition between the major land-based production sectors. It is global in the sense that it encompasses all world regions aggregated in a way that can be altered. GLOBIOM covers 28 (or 50) world regions. Partial denotes that the model does not include the whole range of economic sectors in a country or region but specialises on agricultural and forestry production as well as bioenergy production. These sectors are, however, modelled in a detailed way accounting for about 20 globally most important crops, a range of livestock production activities, forestry commodities as well as different energy transformation pathways.

The disaggregation of the EU into 27 individual countries has been performed only recently and will be use in this project; originally five European regions were defined (

For the forestry sector, emissions and removals as well as biomass supply are projected by the Global Forestry Model (G4M), a geographically explicit agent-based model that assesses afforestation-deforestation-forest management decisions.

GLOBIOM model documentation LULUCF Methodology reportG4M model documentation
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