Sustainable Transportation Center, Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)
McCollum, David L., Sonia Yeh, Christopher Yang, Joan M. Ogden (2011) Modeling Optimal Transition Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy in California: Impacts of Advanced Vehicles and Fuels on the Energy System. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-11-27
This research report describes the development of an energy-engineering-environmental-economic (4E) systems optimization (linear programming) model that represents the vast majority of energy and emission flows within, to, and from California. The CA-TIMES model, as it is called, is built within the well-established MARKAL-TIMES framework and is, thus, extremely rich in bottom-up technological detail. The main application of the model is to develop scenarios for how California’s energy system could potentially evolve over the next several decades, in light of strong policies to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The scenarios range from a business-as-usual Reference Case to a Deep GHG Reduction Scenario, in which a mixed-strategy, portfolio approach allows California economy-wide emissions to be reduced 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Several variants of the Deep GHG scenario are then also developed, in order to explore important sensitivities related to the stringency of the emissions cap (i.e., less stringent than an 80% reduction) and the ultimate potential of key resources and technologies to contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation (e.g., sustainable biomass supply, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, and electricity and hydrogen as transportation fuels).