The Dynamics of Energy Systems and the Logistic Substitution Model. Executive Summary

Marchetti, C., Nakicenovic, N. ORCID:, Peterka, V., & Fleck, F. (1978). The Dynamics of Energy Systems and the Logistic Substitution Model. Executive Summary. IIASA Administrative Report AR-78-1A [July 1978]

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This is a report on the work done at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in 1976 to 1977 under a grant from Volkswagenwerk Foundation, whose objective was to explore the potential and the mechanisms of logistic analysis to describe the structure and the evolution of energy systems.

Volume One contains the phenomenological part. About 300 cases were examined, some of which are reported in detail. The quality of the logistic description is generally excellent, even for cases extending 150 years into the past and with all the perturbations such a long time span entails, and consequently we thought it appropriate to extend the description into the future and use it for prediction.

This was not really the objective of the grant but 'it naturally arises from the work and provides food for thought. Projections in the current literature appear to be in fact strongly inconsistent with the past, which casts doubts on their realizability, and are even internally inconsistent, which reinforces these doubts.

The fact that numerous "free" choices at the social level lead to very regular overall patterns should perhaps temper the feeling of being caught in a deterministic clockwork.

In Volume Two, devoted to the theoretical work, F. Fleck deals specifically with this problem showing the final regularity derived from a set of stochastic, i.e. "free", decisions. V. Peterka, on the other hand, operates at a more aggregated level, where one can start to speak of economic determinism. He describes a form of fate we are more ready to accept, if only grudgingly.

Our exploration has generated more problems than we have solved; thus the field appears very fertile for future research.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Bibliographic Reference: IIASA Administrative Report AR-78-1A [July 1978]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:44
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:08

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