Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Air and Climate Change Research

MARKAL Technology Database and Model (EPANMD)

To model the U.S. energy system, ECA Team is using the MARKet ALlocation (MARKAL) model. MARKAL was developed in the late 1970s at Brookhaven National Lab in response to the oil crisis. In 1978, the International Energy Agency adopted MARKAL and created the Energy Technology and Systems Analysis Program (ETSAP) to oversee its development. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently adopted the MARKAL framework as the basis for its System for the Analysis of Global Energy Markets (SAGE) model. SAGE is used to produce EIA’s annual International Energy Outlook. Altogether, MARKAL and its variants are used in approximately 40 countries around the world.

MARKAL is a data-driven, energy system optimization model. The user inputs the structure of the energy system to be modeled, including resource supplies, energy conversion technologies, end use demands, and the technologies used to satisfy these demands. The user must also provide data to characterize each of the technologies and resources used, including fixed and variable costs, technology availability and performance, and pollutant emissions. MARKAL then calculates, using straightforward linear and mixed-integer linear programming techniques, the least cost set of technologies over time to satisfy the specified demands, subject to various user-defined constraints. Outputs of the model include a determination of the technological mix at intervals into the future, estimates of total system cost, energy demand (by type and quantity), estimates of criteria and GHG emissions, and estimates of energy commodity prices.

Application of MARKAL for EPA’s technology and emissions evaluations required the development of the U.S. EPA MARKAL technology database (EPANMD). This technology-rich database represents the major sectors in the U.S. energy system, including the commercial, industrial, residential, transportation, and electricity generation sectors. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) and National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) were used to construct the energy supply, demand, and technology characterizations. Data for technologies not represented in the AEO and NEMS were derived from other widely recognized authoritative sources (e.g. Electric Power Research Institute’s Technical Assessment Guide and DOE’s Office of Transportation Technology’s Quality Metrics report). Using the EPA’s Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report, emissions factors have been added to the technology characterizations.

The EPANMD database is described in EPA report number NRMRL-RTP-375. The database has been peer-reviewed and is available in electronic form to the public upon request.

John Masters, Communications
Phone: 919-541-0634
Email: masters.john@epa.gov
U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division
Mail Code: E343-02
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711

Air and Climate Change Research | Water Research | Ecosystems Restoration Research | Land Research | Technology: Sustainable Technologies Research, Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Technology Assessments

Jump to main content.