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EnROADS by Climate Interactive

Climate Interactive

EnROADS by Climate Interactive

The Cimate CoLab provides authors of its Global contest access to a partial version of the EnROADS simulator developed by Climate Interactive

This page providea an overview of EnROADS and was adapted from the About page prepared by Climate Interactive to accompany a beta online version of EnROADS. 

Background on the EnROADS simulator #

En-ROADS is a fast, powerful simulation tool for understanding how we can achieve our energy transition, poverty, and climate goals through changes in our energy use, consumption, and policies.

An extension of the C-ROADS simulation, En-ROADS focuses on how changes in global GDP, energy efficiency, R&D results, carbon price, fuel mix, and other factors will change carbon emissions, energy access, and temperature.

Like C-ROADS, En-ROADS can returns results in a few seconds, is transparent in its mathematical logic, and allows for testing of hundreds of factors, making it ideal for decision-makers in government, business, NGOs, and civil society.

En-ROADS is customized to address questions such as:

The simulation is built using the System Dynamics method, drawing upon the PhD theses of Dr. John Sterman and Dr. Tom Fiddaman, and thus emphasizes the dynamics of the transition to clean energy. That is, how long will it take for actions, investments, and policies to take effect and reduce emissions? When will action be necessary and in what order? The model emphasizes the system-wide interactions of policies. That is, how does energy efficiency affect renewable energy? What feedback loops, such as the learning curve, are important?

One of the most innovative parts of En-ROADS is its capacity to test assumptions about the potential success of R&D towards zero-carbon energy. The simulation asks: What are the likely dynamics of the emergence of a new energy supply? How fast could it grow and displace high-carbon sources and, thus, reduce carbon emissions? A diagram of some of the structure is shown to the right.

For those familiar with C-ROADS, here is the distinction between the two: C-ROADS focuses on how the changes in national and regional emissions could affect GHG emissions and climate outcomes. En-ROADS is a global model that focuses on how changes in the energy, economic, and public policy systems could affect GHG emissions and climate outcomes.

Thus, En-ROADS is designed to complement, not supplant the other more disaggregated models addressing these questions, for example, those use in the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum's intercomparison exercises. Indeed, En-ROADS relies on the other models and EIA projections for testing and data.

En-ROADS stands for Energy””Rapid Overview and Decision-Support simulator and was created by Climate InteractiveVentana Systems, the ClimateWorks Foundation research team, and John Sterman of the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

The ClimateWorks Foundation originally commissioned (and co-designed) the simulation to help chart a path to climate success. Behind the simulation is an extensive study of the literature of important factors such as delay times, progress ratios, price sensitivities, historic growth of energy sources, and energy efficiency potential.

The simulation is presently undergoing an external review. The full version can be viewed by contacting Climate Interactive. It is also being customized to address other questions and other regional scales.

About Climate Interactive #

The biggest challenges facing our lives on Earth are made up of complex, interconnected parts. People need better ways to understand the full picture.

That’s why we’re here.

Our team at Climate Interactive helps people see what works to address climate change and related issues like energy, water, food, and disaster risk reduction.

Climate Interactive’s cutting-edge tools help people see what works to address the biggest challenges facing our lives on Earth.

References #

Climate Interactive. 2013. EnROADS home page.

Tom Fiddaman, Lori S. Siegel, Stephanie McCauley, Travis Franck, Elizabeth Sawin, Andrew P. Jones, John Sterman. 2013. En-ROADS Simulator Reference Guide (version 44).