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I have gone through the manual and this forum, but I have trouble understanding what exactly the FIX, INV & VAR costs represent from the Reg_ACost attribute. From my understanding, INV is the capital cost for new capacity. I understand FIX to be the annual fixed costs, which may also include investment costs as the manual states: "total fixed costs (investment + fixed O&M costs)" - so do fixed costs include investment costs? Finally, the VAR cost - does VAR cost include both the variable O&M captured in the activity cost and fuel captured in the flow cost? If anyone could help explain, that would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you, Jason.
Sorry if the documentation has caused you confusion.

Extracts from the documentation:

Regional total annualized costs by period:
Total annualized costs in region ® by period (t) and cost category. The cost categories are INV, INVX, FIX,
FIXX, VAR, VARX, IRE, ELS and DAM (see Table 16 below for more information).

Table 16:
Regional total annualized costs by period:
 INV  Annualized investment costs
 INVX  Annualized investment taxes and subsidies
 FIX  Annual fixed costs
 FIXX  Annual fixed taxes and subsidies
 VAR  Annual variable costs
 VARX  Annual variable taxes and subsidies
 IRE  Annual implied trade costs minus revenues
 ELS  Annual losses in elastic demands
 DAM  Annual damage costs

Annual fixed costs means annual costs derived from NCAP_FOM. It does not include investment costs; those are separately reported.  The INV component contains the annualized investment costs (from NCAP_COST).

VAR represents the (exogenous) variable costs related to processes or commodities. What are they? They come from the ACT_COST, FLO_COST, FLO_DELIV, IRE_PRICE, COM_CSTNET, COM_CSTPRD attributes (as well as ACT_CSTUP, ACT_CSTSD, ACT_CSTRMP).

The idea is that by summing up all the components, you get the total annualized costs. And if you exclude IRE (implied trade costs), you can even reproduce the regional objective function values from these annualized costs (by applying Time_NPV).

> Finally, the VAR cost - does VAR cost include both the variable O&M captured in the activity cost and fuel captured in the flow cost?

I don't quite understand what is "fuel captured in the flow cost", please explain.  Is there an attribute specifying some exogenous cost representing "fuel captured in the flow costs". If not, how could such be included? As explained above, summing up all the costs is supposed to make up the objective function.

Likewise, because there is no attribute that would specify investment costs in terms of fixed (annual) costs, no investment costs are included in fixed costs. A fixed cost means the cost will be constant for a particular period of time, meaning for investment costs that they would be annualized beforehand, and such does not exist in TIMES. I think the logic is reasonably clear in that respect.

Thanks very much for the quick reply.

The FIX, VAR and INV costs make sense to me now.

In regards to "fuel captured in the flow cost", I assume that fuel is the main commodity in FLO_COST (FLO_COST = Variable cost of a process associated with the production/consumption of a commodity). So this is fuel, right?

Not really. FLO_COST is an attribute that specifies a cost per unit of a process flow. It is an additional flow-specific variable cost. On the other hand, an implied fuel cost of an input flow would include the marginal price from the commodity balance dual value.

Note that for normal processes, FLO_COST and FLO_DELIV are equivalent to each other, and both can be used to define any flow-specific variable cost, such as delivery costs of a commodity to/from the process, or pre-/post treatment costs of a commodity before/after the main process transformation. The flows of a process can be a material flows, emission flows, so-called demand flows, or energy flows (including fuels).

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