Integrated Assessment Modeling Seminar, Volker Krey


Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 4:30pm


M-171 Guyot Hall, Princeton University

Title: Distributional Impacts of Climate Policies: Applications on Energy Poverty and Vehicle Adoption with the MESSAGE IAM

Volker Krey


Volker Krey (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg) graduated in theoretical physics from the University of Dortmund (Germany) in 2002. In 2003 he joined the Institute of Energy Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEF-STE) of the Research Centre Julich, where he continued to work until 2007. Since 2006 he has held a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Ruhr-University of Bochum (Germany). Dr. Krey first visited IIASA as a participant of the Young Scientists Summer Program in 2004. He joined IIASA's Energy Program in October 2007 and since October 2011 is the Deputy Program Director.

Dr. Krey’s main fields of scientific interest are the integrated assessment of climate change and the energy challenges, including energy security and energy access. His work focuses on the development and application of integrated assessment models with different regional focuses (national to global scale) and time horizons. In addition, decision making under uncertainty, in particular in the context of future energy transitions and climate change mitigation strategies has been an important part of Dr. Krey's research activities.

He has been appointed a Lead Author of the recently published IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, a Lead Author of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), and a Lead Author of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. Since 2010 he is an Associate Deputy Editor of the well-known journal Climatic Change. Dr. Krey also teaches in an MSc program on "Renewable Energy in Central and Eastern Europe" at the Vienna University of Technology (Austria).


Long-term scenarios based on integrated assessment models (IAMs) are an important input to policy-relevant assessment reports on climate change such as those produced by the IPCC or UNEP as well as for government agencies to support their decision making in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation. A recent development in IAM research is to increase the heterogeneity of the representation of various entities (e.g., spatial, sectoral, socio-economic) to adequately address distributional effects (e.g., countries within
regions, urban vs rural areas, different types of households) of climate and non-climate policies.

The presentation is going to focus on two recent examples for including socio-economic and spatial heterogeneity in the MESSAGE IAM at IIASA.

  • Energy poverty, including both the lack of access to electricity and the reliance on solid cooking fuels, is predominantly a problem of the rural poor and therefore requires separating the entire population into income classes and urban and rural households. Data regarding energy choices and use to calibrate the models in the base year are derived from detailed micro-level household surveys for key countries in each of the model regions. This allows us to assess the effect of policies that target the improvement of energy access as well as how they interact with climate policies.
  • Vehicle adoption is known to be dependent on consumer preferences and therefore also the response to climate policies can be expected to differ strongly by consumer groups. A recent extension of MESSAGE disaggregates light-duty vehicle demands into a heterogeneous mix of consumer groups and then assigns additional cost terms (‘disutility costs’) to the vehicle technologies within each of these groups. Consumers are divided up along three separate dimensions, including (i) settlement pattern (urban/suburban/rural), (ii) attitude toward technology adoption (early adopter/early majority/late majority), and (iii) vehicle usage intensity (modest/ average/frequent driver).

The influence of climate policies on different household and consumer groups will be discussed along with the methodological and data challenges of these novel extensions of IAMs.