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Introduction to Energy Systems Modelling


  • Andrea Herbst
  • Felipe Andrés Toro
  • Felix Reitze
  • Eberhard Jochem


The energy demand and supply projections of the Swiss government funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and carried out by a consortium of institutes and consulting companies are based on two types of energy models: macroeconomic general equilibrium models and bottom-up models for each sector. While the macroeconomic models are used to deliver the economic, demographic and policy framework conditions as well as the macroeconomic impacts of particular scenarios, the bottom-up models simulate the technical developments in the final energy sectors and try to optimise electricity generation under the given boundary conditions of a particular scenario. This introductory article gives an overview of some of the energy models used in Switzerland and – more importantly – some insights into current advanced energy system modelling practice pointing to the characteristics of the two modelling types and their advantages and limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Herbst & Felipe Andrés Toro & Felix Reitze & Eberhard Jochem, 2012. "Introduction to Energy Systems Modelling," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(II), pages 111-135, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2012-ii-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Després, Jacques & Hadjsaid, Nouredine & Criqui, Patrick & Noirot, Isabelle, 2015. "Modelling the impacts of variable renewable sources on the power sector: Reconsidering the typology of energy modelling tools," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 486-495.
    2. Wierzbowski, Michal & Lyzwa, Wojciech & Musial, Izabela, 2016. "MILP model for long-term energy mix planning with consideration of power system reserves," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 93-111.
    3. Nicole A. Mathys & Philippe Thalmann & Marc Vielle, 2012. "Modelling Contributions to the Swiss Energy and Environmental Challenge," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(II), pages 97-109, June.
    4. Zivkovic, Marija & Pereverza, Kateryna & Pasichnyi, Oleksii & Madzarevic, Aleksandar & Ivezic, Dejan & Kordas, Olga, 2016. "Exploring scenarios for more sustainable heating: The case of Niš, Serbia," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(P3), pages 1758-1770.
    5. Balodis Māris & Skribans Valērijs & Ivanova Poļina, 2016. "Development of a System Dynamics Model for Evaluation of the Impact of Integration of Renewable Energy Sources on the Operational Efficiency of Energy Supply Facilities: Theoretical Background," Economics and Business, De Gruyter Open, vol. 28(1), pages 4-12, April.
    6. Jacques Després & Patrick Criqui & Silvana Mima & Nouredine Hadjsaid & Isabelle Noirot, 2014. "Variable renewable energies and storage development in long term energy modelling tools," Post-Print hal-01279467, HAL.
    7. Hagspiel, S. & Jägemann, C. & Lindenberger, D. & Brown, T. & Cherevatskiy, S. & Tröster, E., 2014. "Cost-optimal power system extension under flow-based market coupling," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 654-666.
    8. Nadia S. Ouedraogo, 2017. "Modeling sustainable long-term electricity supply–demand in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 023, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Gorenstein Dedecca, João & Hakvoort, Rudi A., 2016. "A review of the North Seas offshore grid modeling: Current and future research," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 129-143.
    10. Gils, Hans Christian & Scholz, Yvonne & Pregger, Thomas & Luca de Tena, Diego & Heide, Dominik, 2017. "Integrated modelling of variable renewable energy-based power supply in Europe," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 173-188.
    11. repec:eee:energy:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:1107-1118 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:110-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jägemann, Cosima & Fürsch, Michaela & Hagspiel, Simeon & Nagl, Stephan, 2013. "Decarbonizing Europe's power sector by 2050 — Analyzing the economic implications of alternative decarbonization pathways," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 622-636.
    14. Stefan Lechtenböhmer & Clemens Schneider & María Yetano Roche & Samuel Höller, 2015. "Re-Industrialisation and Low-Carbon Economy—Can They Go Together? Results from Stakeholder-Based Scenarios for Energy-Intensive Industries in the German State of North Rhine Westphalia," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-26, October.
    15. repec:eee:energy:v:125:y:2017:i:c:p:805-824 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Ouedraogo, Nadia S., 2017. "Modeling sustainable long-term electricity supply-demand in Africa," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 1047-1067.
    17. repec:eco:journ2:2017-02-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Konstantin Löffler & Karlo Hainsch & Thorsten Burandt & Pao-Yu Oei & Claudia Kemfert & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2017. "Designing a Global Energy System Based on 100% Renewables for 2050: GENeSYS-MOD: An Application of the Open-Source Energy Modelling System (OSeMOSYS)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1678, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    19. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:10:p:1468-:d:112841 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    energy modelling; bottom-up; top-down; hybrid energy system modelling; Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics


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