A strategic review of electricity systems models
Electricity systems models are software tools used to manage electricity demand and the electricity systems, to trade electricity and for generation expansion planning purposes. Various portfolios and scenarios are modelled in order to compare the effects of decision making in policy and on business development plans in electricity systems so as to best advise governments and industry on the least cost economic and environmental approach to electricity supply, while maintaining a secure supply of sufficient quality electricity. The modelling techniques developed to study vertically integrated state monopolies are now applied in liberalised markets where the issues and constraints are more complex. This paper reviews the changing role of electricity systems modelling in a strategic manner, focussing on the modelling response to key developments, the move away from monopoly towards liberalised market regimes and the increasing complexity brought about by policy targets for renewable energy and emissions. The paper provides an overview of electricity systems modelling techniques, discusses a number of key proprietary electricity systems models used in the USA and Europe and provides an information resource to the electricity analyst not currently readily available in the literature on the choice of model to investigate different aspects of the electricity system.
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