Usage in publications, projects, and tools

This page contains information on usage and applications of the MESSAGEix framework in academic publications and research projects. It also lists tools that have been developed by researchers beyond the IIASA ECE program to extend or complement MESSAGEix.

Because the model formulation is flexible, users (individuals and groups) of MESSAGEix have built a wide variety of concrete models to study research questions in a range of domains and fields. Model outputs are also used in a variety of ways, notably to inform policy-makers and other stakeholders facing energy systems challenges and decisions.

The list is not exhaustive, but provided to illustrate the wide range of possible applications of MESSAGEix for current and prospective users, and also to encourage knowledge exchange within the MESSAGEix user community.

To add your publication, tool, or project to this page, see Sharing publications, projects, and tools.


The following is a selection of academic publications in which MESSAGEix was used to carry out energy systems research. For each, the spatial scope/resolution, keywords and specific usage of MESSAGEix are described.

Role of energy storage in energy and water security in Central Asia


Zakeri et al. [12]

  • Spatial: Regional (Central Asia), multi-country including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan

  • Keywords: Energy storage, seasonal pumped hydropower storage, water management, renewable energy systems, energy policy, electricity storage, energy model

  • Usage: Model the energy-water system of Central Asia with 12 sub-annual time slices and analyze the role of energy and water storage solutions.

  • Data and code: Data and scripts for building the model are openly available on Github

Central Asia has faced major energy and water security challenges. Technic… Read more →

Deep seawater cooling and desalination: Combining seawater air conditioning and desalination


Hunt et al. [2]

  • Spatial: Malé, Maldives

  • Keywords: Building cooling, industrial cooling, energy efficiency, seawater air conditioning, low temperature thermal desalination, vertical farming

  • Usage: Simulate Malé´s cooling and water services demand and optimize the renewable energy supply.

In tropical climates, the energy consumed by heating, ventilation and air… Read more →

Energy investment needs for fulfilling the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


McCollum et al. [8]

  • Spatial: Global

  • Keywords: Energy and society, finance, socioeconomic scenarios

  • Usage: Calculate SDG investment needs with a diverse set of approaches within a multi-model analysis.

Low-carbon investments are necessary for driving the energy system… Read more →

A low energy demand scenario for meeting the 1.5 °C target and sustainable development goals without negative emission technologies


Grubler et al. [1]

  • Spatial: Global

  • Keywords: Energy modelling, socioeconomic scenarios

  • Usage: Calculate the energy supply impacts by imposing three types of constraints.

Scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5 °C describe major… Read more →


MESSAGEix and ixmp provide a robust feature set for modeling. However, these features are general-purpose, so some users have developed additional tools that extend or complement MESSAGEix to serve specific use-cases or needs.


It is not guaranteed that the tools listed in this section are maintained.

d2ix: A Model Input-Data Management and Analysis Tool for MESSAGEix


Zipperle and Orthofer [13]

  • Goal: Manageable, comprehensible, and traceable representation of input data.

  • Features: Spreadsheet interface that enables presentation and editing of model input data in a concise form.

  • GitHub:

Bottom-up integrated assessment models, like MESSAGEix, depend on the… Read more →


For research projects of the IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment Program that use MESSAGEix, visit