Modelling the Interactions Between Power Systems and Energy Systems

Modelling Power and Energy Systems

Name: Seán Collins
Position: PhD Researcher
T: +353 (0)21 490-5274


Full Project Title: Modelling the interactions between power systems and energy systems

Funding Body: Science Foundation Ireland

Programme: MaREI

Project Type: PhD

Period: Oct 2014 – Sept 2018


Project Description:

Ambitious targets have been set out to the year 2050 regarding CO2 emissions reductions and the presence of low carbon technologies in the 28 European Member States. These targets and the expected high penetration of renewables to come online in the power generation sector create a number of concerns relating to the adequacy and reliability of the power system, renewable curtailment, flexibility of the power system to absorb variable renewables and congestion on interconnector lines in future.


The objective of this research in the energy policy and modelling group is to enable improved scenario analysis for power systems and offshore renewables in Ireland and the EU-28. This is to be done through the reconstruction of the Irish TIMES model power sector using localised data thus reducing dependence upon the Pan European TIMES model and though the development of techno-economic models to quantify the cost reductions required and level of support required for offshore renewable electricity generation in Ireland and the EU-28.

A soft-linking methodology has been developed in UCC between energy systems and power systems models.  To date the research has used scenario analysis results from an energy systems model to build a dedicated power systems model.

This project intends to utilize these insights to develop a feedback mechanism from integrated power system and gas model into existing energy systems models provide a more accurate representation of power systems operation into energy systems model scenarios. This is particularly important for energy systems such as Ireland’s in which a significant penetration of variable renewable electricity generation is envisaged.

A TIMES electricity model is also to be constructed testing the introduction of various methods of emulation of some additional details that are readily possible in a PLEXOS Model.

The insights gained in the development of this feedback mechanism and highly detailed TIMES model, will be  applied to the practical challenge of building a more detailed electricity sector contributing to a rebuilt Irish TIMES energy systems model accounting for the structural constraints of the overall energy systems model.

Finally, techno-economic models will be developed to quantify the cost reductions required and level of support required for i) off-shore wind energy, ii) tidal energy and iii) wave energy to become economically competitive in electricity generation under a range of future scenarios with different fossil fuel prices and low carbon ambitions for Ireland and for EU-28.


The rebuilt electricity sector coupled with the completed soft-linking methodology, and the cost quantification techno-economic models for offshore electricity generation will then be used to develop improved scenario analysis to better inform future energy policy development in Ireland.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork