UK MARKAL Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find an answer to your question here then please contact Paul Dodds.

How do we know that UK MARKAL will give the best answer for the future?

Analysis with MARKAL does not seek to predict the future.  It identifies the energy system that meets energy service demands with the lowest discounted capital, operating and resource cost, subject to constraints such as carbon targets, and constraints that force the model to emulate a real-world energy system (such as requirements that the speed of transitions to new technologies reflects non-cost factors such as consumer preferences).

MARKAL allows us to draw insights about the relative importance of different technologies, costs and policies in the energy system, but the results, as with all models, should be interpreted in light of the limitations of the model framework.

What is the difference between UK MARKAL and UK TIMES?

UK MARKAL and UK TIMES are UK models built using the MARKAL and TIMES platforms.  Both have the same modelling paradigm and both are developed by the Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program (ETSAP) implementing agreement of the International Energy Agency.  TIMES has been developed more recently than MARKAL and offers more features and flexibility that allows us to improve our representation of the UK energy system, which is why we have recently built the new UK TIMES model to replace UK MARKAL.