Model for Electricity Technology Assessment (META)

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What is META?

The Model for Electricity Technology Assessment (META) facilitates the comparative assessment of the economic costs of more than 50 electricity generation and delivery technologies, including conventional generation options (thermal, hydroelectric, etc.), nonconventional options (renewables), and emerging options such as power storage and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

 META has an option for incorporating the costs associated with externalities in power generation such as local pollution and Green House Gas emissions. The META model can also be used to undertake uncertainty analysis for selected key inputs.

 META is populated with default performance and cost data inputs drawn from three representative countries: India, Romania and the USA, which were chosen as proxies for developing, middle-income and developed countries, respectively. Users also have the option of customizing the data for new countries by entering detailed input data directly into model and for as many parameters as they consider necessary.

What does META do?

META can be used in a number of different areas:

  • Investment Projects. META can be used in the economic analysis of power sector investment projects. META provides performance and cost estimates for more than 50 power generation technologies utilizing, to the extent possible, data from actual projects. As mentioned above, it also has an option for incorporating the costs associated with externalities in power generation such as local pollution and Green House Gas emissions.

  • EnergyPolicy. META can be used to inform long term policy in client countries. It can provide answers to policy-level questions such as the choice between renewable technologies and conventional technologies or between small distributed generation, which avoids transmission costs and large scale generation which requires transmission but with the associated economies of scale. 

  • Electricity System Planning. While META does not take a system wide approach to power sector planning and is not an optimization model, META can be used for a more accurate determination of the technical and cost characteristics of different electricity supply options and used along with traditional power system planning models.

  • Sector Studies. META is able to undertake a deeper analysis of the effect on the energy generation cost of having uncertain inputs (e.g., capital costs, fuel costs, etc.) through Monte Carlo simulation. This feature of the model was recently used for the World Bank’s Mitigating the Vulnerability to High and Volatile Oil Prices in the Power Sector report.

  • Estimating Environmental Damage Costs.  META can be used to estimate the cost of environmental externalities from emissions of CO2, SO2, NOx, and particulate matter (PM10). Consideration of environmental externalities can help lead to better informed electricity supply decisions.

What countries have implemented META?

META was rolled out to the World Bank Group and selected partners and clients in June 2012. Since then, META has been used in Dominica, Egypt, Kosovo, Macedonia, Morocco,  and Vietnam as part of the World Bank’s engagement in these countries, and by consultants in Haiti and Jamaica.

What resources are available on META?

The META Tool along with a Guide and User Manual can be downloaded from the ESMAP website. Technical and operational support is available from ESMAP for teams interested in using META. For more information, please contact Bipul Singh.

What are the next steps?

ESMAP plans to regularly update the core cost data in the tool to take account of global trends and technological developments, and add in new features and data for other countries.

Related Links

ESMAPEnergy Assessments and Strategy Program (EASP) | Tools > Model for Electricity Technology Assessment (META)