Energy's Many Faces, 2000s

After 2000 a number of new programs emerged from the former ECS Program. These focused on energy-related issues; technology transitions; world population; and the mitigation of air pollution and greenhouse gases. A special greenhouse gas initiative was also established.  This was a growing indication of energy's role at the nexus of challenges faced by the human and natural world. 

copper pipeline and blue sky

In the 2000s it became clear that in addition to pure energy issues of supply, demand, and end use, energy could, and should, be researched, with respect to technology, pollution, greenhouse gases, climate, and human population. New programs were established at IIASA to reflect these different facets of energy use. Although these programs develop their own lines of research within IIASA's interdisciplinary environment, they are important conduits of data and information to ENE scientists, and vice versa.  

Over the first decade of the 21st century, the new ENE Program came progressively to focus  on a number of overarching themes, including:

  • The Global Energy Assessment, hosted at IIASA
  • The transition to clean energy use
  • Ensuring access to modern energy services for the (urban and rural) poor  
  • Studying the synergies between policies on climate change, air pollution, energy security, and other issues in order to improve efficiencies and cost-effectiveness 

Interwoven with these research themes was participation in international energy networks, studies, and capacity-building efforts:

  • Research and writing of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (providing lead authors and a coordinating lead author on various aspects of energy-related climate change mitigation)
  • The United Nations Sigma Xi Scientific Advisory Group on Energy and Climate, set up by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
  • The InterAcademy Study on Energy and Climate 
  • The International Council for Science (ICSU) Study on Energy and Sustainable Societies 
  • The ICSU initiative on energy-related R&D 
  • The World Energy Council’s new Study on Energy Scenarios
  • The 2009 UNIDO Global Renewable Energy Forum in Mexico
  • The World Development Report, 2010 
  • The World Energy Council's new Study on Energy Scenarios 

The Energy Program expanded its methodological research beyond simple deterministic optimization analysis to allow for uncertainties and heterogeneity, and to analyze the implications that these have for policy development.


Print this page

Last edited: 07 March 2014


Keywan Riahi

Program Director


T +43(0) 2236 807 491

Volker Krey

Deputy Program Director


T +43(0) 2236 807 415

Online Databases

Interactive Tools

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313