TIMER (Targets IMage Energy Regional) model

The TIMER model consists of the TIMER energy demand and supply model and the TIMER emissions model (TEM).

energy demandenergy supplyemissions



Initial contribute: 2021-11-09


The IMAGE Project, Department of International Environmental Assessment, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
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Application-focused categoriesHuman-perspectiveDevelopment activities
Application-focused categoriesHuman-perspectiveEconomic activities

Detailed Description

English {{currentDetailLanguage}} English


Energy is a necessary and vital component of almost all-human activities. Historically, energy policies have been mainly concerned with increasing the supply of energy. However, currently we know that some of the most challenging environmental problems that mankind faces in the 21st century are directly linked with the production, transport, storage and use of energy. Of these problems, the issue of climate change is the one most directly connected to the use of fossil fuels, but also, for instance, acidification and oil spills are largely caused by fossil fuel combustion.

Trends occurring within the energy system are therefore extremely important – both for the economy and the environment. Fortunately, research has shown that within the energy system a large number of options are available to steer developments in more sustainable directions such as the use of alternative energy sources and improvements in energy efficiency. However, large controversies still exist on the costs and potential of these options. This is understandable, given the complexity of the energy system and the many links with other parts of society. Hence, it is important to examine the dynamics of this system by means of integrated models to understand current trends in energy consumption and production and its evolution in the future.

In the TIMER-model, a combination of bottom-up engineering information and specific rules and mechanisms about investment behaviour and technology is used to simulate the energy system. The output is a rather detailed picture of how energy intensity, fuel costs and competing nonfossil supply technologies develop over time. Most macro-economic models currently used deal with the same developments in the form of one or a few highly aggregated production functions and a single backstop technology that supplies non-fossil energy at a fixed cost level (Janssen, 2000; IPCC, 1999). In our view, the two approaches are complementary: the macro-economic models provide consistent links with the rest of the economy, the TIMER-model gives bottom-up process and system insights.

The main objectives of TIMER are:

• to analyse the long-term dynamics of the energy system within an integrated modelling framework, in particular with regard to energy conservation and the transition to non-fossil fuels, and 

• to explore long-term energy-related and industrial greenhouse gas emissions scenarios which are used in other submodels of IMAGE 2.2.

The TIMER model includes the following main features:

• activity-related demand for useful energy (2 forms: non-electricity and electricity) in 5 sectors, incorporating structural (economic) change due to inter- and intrasectoral shifts;

• autonomous and price-induced changes in energy-intensity, covering what is referred to as energy conservation, energy efficiency improvement or energy productivity increase;

• fossil fuel exploration and exploitation, including the dynamics of depletion and learning;

• biomass-derived substitutes for oil and gas, penetrating the market based on relative costs and learning;

• electric power generation in thermal power plants and in alternative options (nuclear, wind, solar), penetrating the market based on relative costs and learning;

• trade of fossil fuels and biofuels between the 17 world regions.



TIMER team (2021). TIMER (Targets IMage Energy Regional) model, Model Item, OpenGMS, https://geomodeling.njnu.edu.cn/modelItem/c914daef-21f8-4fc2-91ce-372b1f9caf1e


Initial contribute : 2021-11-09



The IMAGE Project, Department of International Environmental Assessment, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
Is authorship not correct? Feed back


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