Long-term perspectives on world metal use - a model-based approach
In this report, a system dynamics model is described, which simulates long-term trends in the production and consumption of metals (i.e. iron/steel and an aggregate of metals of medium abundance) in relation to impacts such as ore-grade decline, capital and energy requirements and waste flows. This metal model can be of assistance in exploring the issue of sustainablility of metal resource use.
Application of the model to historical trends shows it to be fairly capable of reproducing the long-term trends in the 1900-1990 period, among others on the basis of two intensity of use curves applied to 13 world regions. For future trends, a set of perspective-based long-term scenarios has been constructed that represent the major paradigms in resource use. These scenarios highlight some of the uncertain factors in the relation between economic growth, metal resource exploitation and use, and energy and environmental consequences. They also indicate that apparently similar metal flows in society may be the result of quite different and sometimes contrary assumptions on metal demand, production patterns and resource base characteristics. Such analyses contribute to a more open and transparent discussion on the issue at hand by adding quantitative explications to qualitative views.
|Author(s)||Vuuren DP ; Strengers BJ ; Vries HJM de|