Cecilia Ferraro, Chiara Salvai

Computer Science and Simulation for Economics

Project work on

"Energy market."


The applet requires Java 1.4.1 or higher. It will not run on Windows 95 or Mac OS 8 or 9. Mac users must have OS X 10.2.6 or higher and use a browser that supports Java 1.4. (Safari works, IE does not. Mac OS X comes with Safari. Open Safari and set it as your default web browser under Safari/Preferences/General.) On other operating systems, you may obtain the latest Java plugin from Sun's Java site.

created with NetLogo

view/download model file: energy_market.nlogo


This model tries to explain a simple energy market.
There are two kind of energy: energy1 that could be oil, energy2 that could be an alternative energy and consumers of energy.
What happened in the energy market if there was an alternative energy that begin to be competitive?


The world is divided in three patches: the gray patches represent supply of energy1, the pink patches represent supply of energy2 and the white patches represent the noenergy area, where turtles can't buy any kind of energy.
Turtles represent consumers of energy, turtles' movements are random and when they are on gray or pink patches they can buy or not energy1 or energy2.
Turtles buy if their reserve prices are higher than price of energy.
During the simulation turtles' reserve prices and energy price will change.


Before starting the simulation the observer can modify some parameters using the slider on the interface:
POPULATION: number of turtles
STEP_NUMBER: number of step that turtles make every cycle
PRICE_ENERGY1: initial price of energy1
PRICE_ENERGY2: initial price of energy2
Click SETUP botton to set up the turtles and the patches.
Click GO botton to start the simulation; the turtles will become to move random in the world and they will buy or not buy energy.
On the interface there are also four monitors:
the "CONSUMERS_ENERGY1" monitor shows the number of consumers of energy1 over time
the "CONSUMERS_ENERGY2" monitor shows the number of consumers of energy2 over time
the "PRICE_ENERGY1" monitor shows the variation of price of energy1
the "PRICE_ENERGY2" monitor shows the variation of price of energy2.


It is important to observe the movement of energy price end price of reserve: if the price of reserve is higher than the energy price then the consumer buyes, or else the consumer doesn't buy. If the consumer doesn't buy more than 5 times increase his price of reserve, conversely he reduces the price of reserve.
Price of energy1 will increase if consumers buy energy1 and it will decrease if consumers don't buy. Whereas price of energy2 will decrease when the consumers raise, by reason of scale economy.


The operator can modify some variable: population, step number, initial price energy1 and initial price energy2.
It is interesting to observe how change the simulation with different initial price of energy1 and energy2; for example try to put:
- price energy1 = price energy2 = 5
- max price energy1 = 9 and min price energy2 = 9.