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AMES: Adaptable Macroeconomic Extension for Sustainability analysis

AMES is a macroeconomic simulation model designed to extend resource planning models. It is closely integrated to SEI’s Long-range Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP). When linked to LEAP, it provides economic drivers and takes outputs from LEAP to estimate their impact on the wider economy. AMES is flexible, facilitating integration with other resource planning models, particularly SEI’s Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) system.


Last updated on 2 January 2024

The Adaptable Macroeconomic Extension for Sustainability analysis (AMES) model was developed to respond to the needs of users of SEI’s Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP). Without a model like AMES, economic assumptions in LEAP, which are crucial drivers of energy demand, must be specified externally, and the economic impact of changing energy demand is not captured. That feedback loop is important because energy demand drives new energy investment, which can increase employment and stimulate the broader economy, which are outcomes of interest to policymakers. AMES provides a consistent way to generate economic assumptions, taking energy investment into account.

AMES is a multi-sector macroeconomic simulation model for national scale models. Because it is a multi-sector model, it requires data on inter-sectoral transactions, either supply-use tables or an input-output table. Supply-use table have been constructed for a large number of countries, and are often publicly available.

Other required data and assumptions include a scenario for the working-age population, which can be calculated from UN population projections, and global price and GDP trends. Further, the model has several parameters, which can be set using secondary sources or estimated by calibrating the model against historical time series for some of AMES’s outputs. AMES supports the widely-used PEST calibration tool.

AMES can be downloaded for free and has thorough online documentation, including a LEAP exercise. The motivation for AMES’s structure and assumptions is provided in a Working Paper. For those who want to see “under the hood”, or to modify the code, AMES is open source software written in the Julia language. The source code is available on GitHub.

How to get started

Want to try AMES? Download the model free of charge below.

Download AMES

The AMES model is primarily intended for planning agencies in low- and middle-income countries that are using LEAP to develop low-emission development strategies. AMES can be run and calibrated separately from LEAP, so while the LEAP model is developed by experts in energy systems analysis, the accompanying AMES model can be developed in parallel by staff with a background in economics. Then, LEAP and AMES can be run together as an integrated energy-economic model.

AMES can accept external scenarios for sectoral production, production constraints, and global prices, facilitating a linkage with models in addition to LEAP. For example, physically-based crop production from a WEAP model can be used to drive the agriculture sector in AMES. Similarly, water supply constraints on industrial production as calculated by WEAP can be translated into production constraints in AMES. If LEAP is also linked to AMES and WEAP, the result is an integrated water-energy-economy model. This is the strategy being followed by SEI and its partners in the USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment activity (WAVE) for Central Asia.

AMES is a macroeconomic simulation model intended primarily for low- and middle-income countries. It was developed to provide self-consistent economic drivers to LEAP models. The first version of AMES was developed in 2019 for Morocco as part of a low-carbon energy planning exercise. It was further developed within SEI’s Integrated Climate and Development Planning initiative. It is being applied and extended for a water-energy-environment analysis in the USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment activity (WAVE) for Central Asia. The WAVE project features integration between SEI’s LEAP and WEAP tools, together with NEMO and AMES.

The AMES model is flexible, allowing for different degrees of sectoral disaggregation and providing simpler and more complex options for key equations. It is implemented in the Julia open-source programming language, but users provide inputs through text files. For more information, see the online documentation, which includes instructions for installing and running AMES.

The AMES model is open source and the code is freely accessible through the AMES GitHub repository. SEI holds the copyright on AMES, but it is released under an expansive license that allows for modifications and distribution.


Please cite as: Kemp-Benedict, E. 2023. Adaptable Macroeconomic Extension for Sustainability analysis (AMES). [Computer software]. Stockholm Environment Institute.

AMES is actively developed and maintained.

The most up-to-date information about AMES is available in the AMES online documentation and, for the most up-to-date code, in the AMES GitHub repository.

User guides, exercise, technical details, and so on are available in the online documentation, together with a summary explanation of the theoretical background behind AMES. For a more thorough explanation for AMES’s structure and assumptions, see the SEI Working Paper.

For information about AMES, please contact Eric Kemp-Benedict or Jason Veysey.
Emily Ghosh and Anisha Nazareth contributed to AMES’s early development.


2018 portrait of jason veysey
Jason Veysey

Energy Modeling Program Director and Senior Scientist


2018 portrait of Emily Ghosh
Emily Ghosh



Anisha Nazareth
Anisha Nazareth

Associate Scientist


Eric Kemp-Benedict
Eric Kemp-Benedict

SEI Affiliated Researcher


Funding for AMES has been provided by GiZ.

Design and development by Soapbox.