A user-friendly interface for South Africa’s Mitigation Potential Analysis



Department of Environmental Affairs

Problem Statement:

Planning for economy wide mitigation of greenhouse gases requires an in-depth understanding of the individual mitigation options, including the volume of greenhouse gases that they are able to reduce and by when, the capital and operating costs associated with their implementation and the impacts of implementing them on the economy of the country. In 2014 the Department of Environmental Affairs commissioned a study of these options which came to be known as the Mitigation Potential Analysis (MPA). This study was commissioned by the Department to convert the spreadsheet-based MPA into a user-friendly modelling system which they can easily update as new information becomes available. The study also sought to update certain components of the model where new information was readily available.

The Green House approach:

The Green House chose to use Analytica as the platform on which to build this model due to its visual system representation, relative ease with which model assumptions can be interrogated, and extent to which calculation errors are minimised. The project began by reviewing the MPA spreadsheets, identifying areas that needed updating and then building individual sector models. Once the models had been built, this were subjected to an extensive review process and then collated into a single model. As the macroeconomic model used in the MPA was not available, a social accounting matrix (SAM) model was developed by our partners and integrated into the overall model.

The project included an extensive skills transfer component, to ensure that one the project was finished DEA was fully able to operate and update the model this was achieved through a number of training sessions held with DEA staff.


The final product from this study is a live, easily accessible model which DEA can update as new information on mitigation potential, sector performance and economic conditions become available. Furthermore, a number of DEA employees have gained skills in emissions modelling.