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Background and Motivation

The energy system is characterized by a high degree of complexity which will further increase in the future due to the transformation of the energy system as well as the digital revolution. Especially the storage and distribution of renewable energies create major challenges for the future energy system because, e.g., wind and solar energy are neither temporally, nor spatially synchronized with energy demand profiles. For deducing reliable CO2 reduction strategies, holistic energy models are required that are capable of systematically estimating and integrating the growing system complexity.

Within the project METIS (Methods and Models for Energy Transformation and Integration Systems), the Jülich Research Center and its partners from the RWTH Aachen University and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg develop open source software tools for modelling, optimizing and simulation of current and future energy systems. The tools developed in METIS are used to forecast the German and European energy systems based on a high share of renewable energies until the year 2050.

Objective and Methods

The objective of the project is to increase the accuracy of current energy system models as well as extending their scope in the frame of sector coupling. Nevertheless, the resulting design and operation optimizations models further need to satisfy the needs for comprehensibility and short computing times.
To unite these converse requirements for the software, new methods for a systematic complexity reduction will be developed focusing on keeping the forecast accuracy of the models. For this purpose, new methods for data aggregation, especially regarding big data, need to be developed and integrated. Furthermore, new mathematical decomposition algorithms for reducing the computing time of linear programs as well as mixed integer linear programs will be tested in order to profit from a higher share of parallelization on High Performance Computers, available at the Jülich Research Center. The models will be validated using one- and multi-node energy system models with myopic and hard coupling approaches in order to optimize future systems as well as the operation of already existing systems.
The developed software tools will be offered open source in order to provide transparency, and to guarantee the quality of the developed methods and models, as well as to contribute to the evolving open source research community.