An interactive Web-based scenario analysis tool which allows the concurrent assessment of multiple energy objectives.

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The Energy Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) tool allows energy decision makers and planners to conduct a comprehensive and integrated assessment of the major energy challenges of the 21st century and, in so doing, to make more informed choices about the sustainable energy development pathways on which they will embark in the future.

About the Energy MCA interactive tool

The Energy Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) tool was developed at IIASA in support of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA). Extensive collaboration within IIASA's integrated research environment helped to bring this software to fruition. A manual describing the tool and its functioning has also been prepared.

The tool was populated with a broad and diverse (600+) ensemble of energy futures, each of which meets the different objectives for energy sustainability in a unique way. These energy futures were generated using IIASA's MESSAGE Integrated Assessment Modeling Framework.

The tool provides a comprehensive and interactive overview to allow decision makers compare the various synergies and trade-offs involved when each of the four main energy sustainability objectives - climate, energy security, health, and costs - is prioritized over the rest. The possibility to personalize the priorities in the tool is particularly useful, as not all objectives are given the same priority by different policymakers.

The tool allows users to see how alternative worldviews, in other words, different priorities, can lead to qualitatively different energy system futures. It also permits users to visualize the complex, and not always obvious, synergies and trade-offs of the different policy choices they are considering making.

How the Energy MCA interactive tool works

The MESSAGE-generated scenarios are individual energy and climate scenarios that represent unique future states of the world, in which energy sustainability objectives are satisfied to varying degrees. The four major objectives related to achieving energy sustainability - climate, energy security, health, and costs - can be assessed using the tool.

Importantly, all the scenarios that populate the Energy MCA tool meet a global target of almost universal access to electricity and clean cooking fuels by 2030. Policies to achieve this target can be examined using the Energy Access Tool.

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The Energy Multi-Criteria Analysis interactive tool allows users select their priorities for energy sustainability by moving the interactive slider bars shown on the tool interface (upper left), and to assign a relative importance to each.

Key indicators Scenario results
Costs Policy costs, total energy investments, climate mitigation investments, pollution control costs, energy security investments, 2010–2030
Air pollution & health PM2.5 emissions, 2000–2100, DALYs [disability adjusted life years], 2030
Energy security Energy import dependence, energy diversity and resilience, 2000–2100
Climate change GHG emissions, CO2-equiv concentrations, temperature change, 2000–2100
Energy system development Primary energy, final energy, electricity generation, 2000–2100