This project will explore possibilities for combining the UCL-CGE model with the UEA-TIM model. This will make use of experience gained in UKERC 3 of linking a land-use model to a model of the energy system (specifically TIAM-UCL). The process through which that linkage will be achieved will be one of iterative soft-linkage: i.e. the outputs of one model will act as inputs to the other model, which will in turn will produce outputs that inform a ‘second-round’ run of the first model and so on through successive rounds of iteration.

There are numerous important methodological issues to be addressed in attempting such a coupling of models, not least of which are fundamental differences in their theoretical foundations (micro-simulation versus macroeconomic equilibrium) and their treatment of time and space. Accordingly the research in this project will begin by seeking to identify theoretically consistent methods for linking the two modelling platforms and consider issues relating to the uniqueness and theoretical consistency of the end-point of iterations of soft-linking.

Providing those issues can be satisfactorily resolved, the combined models will provided a mechanism through which the whole-system impact of an energy pathway might be coherently evaluated. Moreover, by observing the difference between the analyses in Projects 11 and 12 with outcomes from the combined model we will also be able to judge the extent to which any partial analysis (i.e. not including feedback mechanism through the economy) is useful when assessing the impact of energy system configurations on the natural capital.


The research activities in this project will provide policy makers with tools that allow them to take a whole-systems perspective on energy futures in a way that seamlessly integrates energy and environmental considerations within the same assessment framework.

Specific outputs will include additional modules for TIM that allow for the spatially-explicit evaluation of a number of environmental impacts resulting specifically from future energy systems and extensions to UCL-CGE that capture cross-sectoral economic interactions through the energy-land-water nexus. The research will deliver numerous methodological advances, perhaps most notably in robust spatial policy design under conditions of uncertainty and in the coupling of microeconomic and macroeconomic models. Those endeavours as well as others will be recorded in a series of high-profile academic publications in the environmental modelling and ESs literature.