Sustainability Assessment Using Dynamic Systems Modelling 2001-01-3740
A dynamic systems modelling approach is examined for its suitability for assessing sustainable performance in technological innovation. A computer model of the energy needs in the Canadian road transportation sector was developed to study the sustainable performance of bio-ethanol. It considers the potential increase in the consumption of energy as the economy expands in the next 25 years, taking into account demographic trends, consumer choices, and technological advances. While the primary environmental measure tracked is focused on greenhouse gas emissions with respect to the Kyoto target, it also includes considerations for land use and farming practices, and distinguishes between fossil and bio-carbon emissions. As well, it allows for different sources of biomass, including crop byproducts and dedicated crops. Various scenarios for bio-ethanol to penetrate the consumer market were set up to investigate a range of future evolution paths.