E4cast is a partial equilibrium model of the Australian energy sector used by ABARE to project Australia’s long term energy consumption, production and trade [1]. One version of E4cast was developed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) in 2000, and has been regularly updated since. E4cast is not for sale, instead customers pay to have their analysis completed at a rate of AU$1,500 (€816) per day. A lot of customers have used E4cast, but the exact number is not available. Even though E4cast has been originally designed for the Australian energy-system, it is possible to modify the base data to simulate any energy-system.

E4cast provides a detailed analysis of the energy sector, representing energy production, trade and consumption in a comprehensive manner with a particular focus on wind energy [2]. Typically, E4cast is used to simulate future energy requirements and identify how these requirements can be met. The analysis is completed using a yearly time-step for up to a maximum of 30 years. In E4cast, energy consumption is projected by fuel, by industry, and by region, with all inputs based on annual amounts. Two types of fuels are modelled – primary and final. Industries are divided into two types, energy converters and final end users. This common structure of fuel use by industry is replicated in each of the model’s user-defined regions. In the Australian model, seven regions are specified: New South Wales including the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory. National figures are produced by summing the regional totals. In each region, conversion activities such as electricity generation and petroleum refining deliver energy to final end users such as transport, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, residential and commercial. The primary and final fuels consumed in each region can include crude oil and petroleum products, LPG, black and brown coal, coke and coal by-products, natural gas, electricity, and renewables (hydroelectricity, biomass, biogas, wind and solar energy). As with most models used by analysts to project energy consumption, the main consumption drivers in E4cast are real incomes, industry output and fuel prices. Since 2000, ABARE has continued to enhance E4cast to include specific production, trade, and government policy detail which is of interest to industry and policy makers. For example, because oil and gas production tends to overlap state or territory boundaries, oil and gas production has been modelled at the basin level. To reflect recent developments in energy supply interconnection, interstate trade in electricity and natural gas has also been modelled. Finally, to reflect the likely long term impact of government policies on Australian energy consumption overall, ABARE has modelled specific government policies that may influence energy consumption at either the national, state or territory level.

The E4cast model is primarily used to predict future scenarios within the Australian energy system [2]. It has also been used upon request from the Australian Department of Climate Change (DCC) to evaluate the impact of various legislated and stipulated policies on emissions and renewable energy [3], as well as for a number of private studies which are not publically available.


  1. Australian energy: national and state projections to 2029-2030, ABARE, 2006,http://www.abareconomics.com/interactive/energy_dec06/index.html.
  2. Stationary Energy Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions Projections 2007, Department of Climate Change (Australia), 2008, http://climatechange.gov.au/projections/pubs/energy2007.pdf