Prospective Outlook on Long-Term Energy Systems (POLES)
POLES is a world energy-economy partial equilibrium simulation model of the energy sector, with complete modelling from upstream production through to final user demand and greenhouse gas emissions. The simulation process uses dynamic year-by-year recursive modelling, with endogenous international energy prices and lagged adjustments of supply and demand by world region, which allows for describing full development pathways to 2050. POLES is used to provide quantitative, scenario-based, empirical and objective analyses by many members of the energy sector (private companies, governments, supranational institutions).
The use of the POLES model combines a high degree of detail for key components of the energy system and a strong economic consistency, as all changes in these key components are influenced by relative price changes at the sectoral level. The model provides technological change through dynamic cumulative processes such as the incorporation of Two Factor Learning Curves, which combine the impacts of “learning by doing” and “learning by searching” on technologies’ development. As price induced diffusion mechanisms (such as feed-in tariffs) can also be included in the simulations, the model allows for consideration of key drivers to future development of new energy technologies. One key aspect of the analysis of energy technology development with the POLES model is indeed that it relies on a framework of permanent inter-technology competition, with dynamically changing attributes for each technology.