Modification of Road Networks to Reduce the Energy Use of the Transport Sector

Lensink, S.M. (2007). Modification of Road Networks to Reduce the Energy Use of the Transport Sector. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-07-020

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An optimal road capacity exists at which the energy use of the road infrastructure and its traffic is minimal. It implies that 15% of the time, the traffic is jammed. The socioeconomic optimal road capacity implies jammed traffic for no more than 5% of the time. The claim that widening roads reduces the environmental damage of transport, because it prevents the formation of traffic jams, is generally speaking incorrect. However, modification of road transport infrastructure with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions of transport is not efficient, since other economic sector can reduce CO2 emission at far less costs.

Should one wish to optimize a network on a criterion that is different from the criterion that governs the flows over the network, complex systems behavior looms. This report advocates the use of back casting as most likely approach to optimize complex networks on an infinite horizon basis. In a network that should be build up, the procedure that leads to a (near) optimal construction strategy is demonstrated.

First, one assesses the optimal end state of the system. Second, one determines the time that is required for the construction works to transform the network from the original configuration to the optimal end configuration. Consequently, one back casts the system configuration under the condition that the shadow price of a network link modification is equal for all network links. As long as the attainability domain is respected, this procedure is shown to provide near optimal results. Whether the near optimal results are also unique, optimal results is not mathematically proven.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Dynamic Systems (DYN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:40
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:20

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