(Modelling the Energy Development under Environmental And Socioeconomic constraints)

The MEDEAS models are a set of IAMs that were developed within the European Commission project of the same name MEDEAS (Modelling the Energy Development under Environmental And Socioeconomic constraints). They were designed using system dynamics, which facilitates the integration of knowledge from different perspectives. System dynamics is a methodology used to analyze and model temporal behavior in complex environments due to its ability to explicitly and dynamically represent feedbacks, system delays and nonlinearities. 

The MEDEAS simulation model set is composed of models at three different geographical scales: global (MEDEAS-W), European Union (MEDEAS-EU) and country (MEDEAS-AUT and MEDEAS-BGR). For simplicity, the integration between models is sequential (one-way): the “parent” models (W, EU) provide inputs to the “child” models (EU, country). 

All models have a modular and flexible structure. The models are structured in nine main modules: (1) economy, (2) energy demand, (3) energy availability, (4) energy infrastructure and energy return on investment, (5) minerals, (6) land use, (7) water, (8) climate and emissions and (9) social and environmental impact indicators. 


MEDEAS models are Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) developed with the objective of informing decision makers for the transition to a sustainable energy system. They are open-source models that pay particular attention to biophysical, economic, social and technological constraints. In particular, MEDEAS models include: representation of biophysical constraints to energy availability; modeling of mineral and energy investments for energy transition, allowing dynamic assessment of potential mineral shortages and calculation of net energy available to society; consistent representation of climate change damages with estimates by natural scientists; integration of detailed sectoral data and economic structure (input-output analysis) combined with system dynamics; energy substitutions motivated physical shortages; and a rich set of socio-economic and environmental impact indicators. 

Model in Vensim software


Selection of publications related to MEDEAS-W 

Pulido Sánchez, D., Capellán-Pérez, I., De Castro, C., Frechoso, F. 2022. Material and energy requirements of transport electrification. Energy & Environmental Science 2022.

Iñigo Capellán-Pérez; Carlos de Castro. Transición a energías renovables y demanda de minerales. Minería y extractivismos. Granada, (España): Editorial Universida de Granada, 2022. Available on-line at: <>. ISBN 9788433869258.

Pulido Sánchez, D., Capellán-Pérez, I., Mediavilla, M., De Castro, C., Frechoso, F., 2021. Análisis de los requerimientos de materiales de la movilidad eléctrica mundial. DYNA, 2020. DYNA, Vol. 96, pp. 207 – 213.

De Blas, I., Mediavilla, M., Capellán-Pérez, Í.,Duce, C., 2020. The limits of transport decarbonization under the current growth paradigm. Energy Strategy Reviews, 32, 100543. (open access)

Solé, J., Samsó, R., García-Ladona, E., García-Olivares, A., Ballabrera-Poy, J., Madurell, T., Turiel, A., Osychenko, O., Álvarez, D., Bardi, U., Baumann, M., Buchmann, K., Capellán-Pérez, Í., Černý, M., Carpintero, Ó., De Blas, I., De Castro, C., De Lathouwer, J-D., Duce, C., Eggler, L., Enríquez, J.M., Falsini, S., Feng, K., Ferreras, N., Frechoso, F., Hubacek, K., Jones, A., Kaclíková, R. Kerschner, C., Kimmich, C., Lobejón, L.F., Lomas, P.L., Martelloni, G., Mediavilla, M., Miguel, L.J., Natalini, D., Nieto, J., Nikolaev, A., Parrado, G., Papagianni, S., Perissi, I., Ploiner, C., Radulov, L., Rodrigo, P., Sun, L., Theofilidi, M., 2020. Modelling the renewable transition: Scenarios and pathways for a decarbonized future using pymedeas, a new open-source energy systems model. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 132, 110105. (open access)

Capellán-Pérez, I., Blas, I. de, Nieto, J., Castro, C. de, Miguel, L.J., Carpintero, Ó., Mediavilla, M., Lobejón, L.F., Ferreras-Alonso, N., Rodrigo, P., Frechoso, F., Álvarez-Antelo, D., 2020. MEDEAS: a new modeling framework integrating global biophysical and socioeconomic constraints. Energy Environmental Science. (MEDEAS FRAMEWORK:)

J. Nieto, O. Carpintero, L.J. Miguel, I. de Blas. 2019. Macroeconomic modelling under energy constraints: Global low carbon transition scenarios. Energy Policy, article in press. Free available as pre-print text: Macro modelling under energy constraints_Preprint

De Blas, I., L.J. Miguel, I. Capellán-Pérez. 2019. Modelling of sectoral energy demand through energy intensities in MEDEAS integrated assessment model. Energy Strategy Reviews 26, 100419. Free available in UVaDOCs:

Capellán-Pérez, I., C. de Castro, L.J. Miguel González. 2019. Dynamic Energy Return on Energy Investment (EROI) and material requirements in scenarios of global transition to renewable energies. Energy Strategy Reviews 26, 100399 (open access).

Capellán-Pérez, I., D. Álvarez-Antelo , Luis J. Miguel. 2019. Global Sustainability Crossroads: A Participatory Simulation Game to Educate in the Energy and Sustainability Challenges of the 21st Century. Sustainability, 11 (13), 3672. (PDF AAM en castellano)


MEDEAS-EU follows the modeling approach as well as the main structural elements and modules of MEDEAS-W, with some particularities given its regional scope. The model requires, as input, the simulation results of the MEDEAS-World model, which provide the boundary condition for the regional simulations. The structure of both models is similar and consists of 9 modules: Economy, Energy Demand, Energy Infrastructure, Energy Availability, Materials, Land Use, Climate, and Social and Environmental Impacts Indicators. Among the main novelties of this model with respect to other IAMs are the integration of input-output matrices, the feedback between variables of the environmental, economic and energy modules and the estimation and feedback of the EROI. In particular, the adaptation to the EU27 regional level includes the representation of trade (both at the level of final goods/services and primary energy) with the rest of the world, as well as a simplified representation of land use. 

Model in Vensim software


Publications related to the MEDEAS-EU 

Samsó, R., De Blas, I., Perissi, I., Martelloni, G., Solé, J. 2020. Scenario analysis and sensitivity exploration of the MEDEAS Europe energy-economy-environment model. Energy Strategy Reviews, Volume 32, 100582.

Nieto, J., Carpintero, Ó., Lobejón, L.F., Miguel, L.J., 2020. An ecological macroeconomics model: The energy transition in the EU. Energy Policy, 145, 111726.

Capellán-Pérez, I., Blas, I. de, Nieto, J., Castro, C. de, Miguel, L.J., Carpintero, Ó., Mediavilla, M., Lobejón, L.F., Ferreras-Alonso, N., Rodrigo, P., Frechoso, F., Álvarez-Antelo, D., 2020. MEDEAS: a new modeling framework integrating global biophysical and socioeconomic constraints. Energy Environmental Science. (MEDEAS FRAMEWORK)

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