MUSE – A new Energy Systems Model

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The modelling team are developing a novel method which takes a whole systems approach to simulate energy transitions towards a low carbon world.

The modelling team, led by Dr Adam Hawkes and Dr Sara Giarola,  include Dr Daniel Crow, Dr Sara Budinis, Dr Ivan Garcia Kerdan and Dr Julia Sachs.

What is an Energy Systems Model?

With more innovative technologies including renewables, increasing energy demands, and the threat of climate change, the energy system is constantly evolving. However, there is a very complex relationship between the energy system and the economy, technology, investors and consumers, the environment, and policies.

Energy system models can be used to make sense of these complexities, and study how changes can be managed. They have a huge range of potential uses, from building understanding around the key characteristics of technologies through to assessing the economic impact of energy and climate policy.

How does MUSE differ from other Energy Systems Models?

The MUSE (ModUlar energy system Simulation Environment) model is unique:-

  1. Provides a global whole systems perspective on opportunities and challenges for the energy industry. 28 regions are currently included to represent the world.
  2. A model integration framework that enables a hybrid approach to simulating investor behavior, tailored to each sector in each region, based on state-of-the-art modelling.  MUSE models real investors.
  3. technologically-rich approach enabling modelers to ask challenging questions regarding costs and performance of specific systems.
  4. High sub-regional spatial resolution to enable detailed characterisation of energy resources, infrastructure costs, and the distribution of demand.
  5. The MUSE code will be made open–source so anyone will be able use it for their own work.

Who will be able to use the model?

Industry will be able to use it for technology and R&D roadmapping, and strategy development while it will help policy makers and international government make future plans for climate change mitigation.

muse-2What will the model be used for?

Priorities are R&D road-mapping and strategy development with industry, while it can also help policy makers and governments make plans for climate change mitigation.
• Explore the key characteristics of technologies that can be pivotal in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions at low cost. This can aid R&D prioritization.
• Test different strategic scenarios of energy system investment in terms of timing, location and purpose. For example, examining the impact of changes in global gas markets on trade and price.
• Provide insights into upstream opportunities. While many models focus on end-use and conversion activities, MUSE specialises also in upstream activity (i.e. exploration, production) and incorporates dynamic investment and operation modules for these sectors.
• Help international institutions build credible technology-rich global pathways of climate change mitigation, taking in to account sub-regional spatial characteristics of demand and resources, regional policy and markets, and local investors and consumers.

When will MUSE be available?

A beta version of the model has been produced in April 2016, and version 1.0 was completed at the end of 2016. Initial runs and open-source code will be available in 2017.

If you’d like more information…

Please contact us at SGI@imperial.ac.uk if you want more information on the Energy Systems Model.

You can also read about the model in an interview with Dr Adam Hawkes for Oil & Adjacent Gas ‘A thoroughly modern Engery Systems Model’. 

If you want to read more about the topic ‘Energy systems modeling for twenty-first century energy challenges‘ in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
33 (74–86) 2014 (only institutions with Elsevier access will be able to get the full article).