Skip to content

Measuring Accuracy and Computational Capacity Trade-offs in an Hourly Integrated Energy System Model


Improving energy system modelling capabilities can directly affect the quality of applied studies. However, some modelling trade-offs are necessary as the computational capacity and data availability are constrained. In this paper, we demonstrate modelling trade-offs resulting from the modification in the resolution of four modelling capabilities, namely, transitional scope, European electricity interconnection, hourly demand-side flexibility description, and infrastructure representation. We measure the cost of increasing resolution in each capability in terms of computational time and several energy system modelling indicators, notably, system costs, emission prices, and electricity import and export levels. The analyses are performed in a national-level integrated energy system model with a linear programming approach that includes the hourly electricity dispatch with European nodes. We determined that reducing the transitional scope from seven to two periods can reduce the computational time by 75% while underestimating the objective function by only 4.6%. Modelers can assume a single European Union node that dispatches electricity at an aggregated level, which underestimates the objective function by 1% while halving the computational time. Furthermore, the absence of shedding and storage flexibility options can increase the curtailed electricity by 25% and 8%, respectively. Although neglecting flexibility options can drastically decrease the computational time, it can increase the sub-optimality by 31%. We conclude that an increased resolution in modelling flexibility options can significantly improve the results. While reducing the computational time by half, the lack of electricity and gas infrastructure representation can underestimate the objective function by 4% and 6%, respectively.

Funding source: ES- TRAC Integrated Energy System Analysis
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Netherlands

Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error