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Prediction is difficult, even when it's about the past: a hindcast experiment using Res-IRF, an integrated energy-economy model

Author

Listed:
  • David Glotin

    () (CIRED)

  • Cyril Bourgeois

    () (CIRED)

  • Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet

    () (CIRED, Ecole des Ponts Paristech)

  • Philippe Quirion

    () (CIRED, CNRS)

Abstract

Model-based projections of energy demand are hardly ever confronted with observations. This shortfall threatens the credibility policy-makers might attach to integrated energy-economy models. One reason for it is the lack of historical data against which to calibrate models, a prerequisite for attempting to replicate past trends. In this paper, we (i) assemble piecemeal historical data to reconstruct the energy performance of the residential building stock of 1984 in France; (ii) calibrate Res-IRF, a bottom-up model of residential energy demand in France, against these data and run it to 2012. In a preliminary simulation that only considers the data that were known at the beginning of the simulated period, we find that the model accurately predicts energy consumption per m² aggregated over all dwelling types, with a Mean Absolute Percentage Error below 1.5% and 85% of the variance explained. These figures reach 0.5% and 96% when we consider the best-fit of 1,920 scenarios covering the uncertainty surrounding the parameters of the initial year. Energy demand is unevenly well replicated across fuels, which reveals some limitations in the ability of the model to capture politically-driven trends such as the expansion of the natural-gas distribution network. The overall results however build confidence in the general accuracy of the Res-IRF model. We discuss the directions for data collection which would ease comparison between simulations and observations in future hindcast experiments.?

Suggested Citation

  • David Glotin & Cyril Bourgeois & Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet & Philippe Quirion, 2019. "Prediction is difficult, even when it's about the past: a hindcast experiment using Res-IRF, an integrated energy-economy model," Working Papers 2019.03, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:fae:wpaper:2019.03
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    retrospective simulation; backtesting; hindcast; model evaluation; residential sector;

    JEL classification:

    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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