MUSE: a novel energy systems model – Overview and selected applications (Abstract SGRI 2017)

The modelling team are led by Dr Adam Hawkes and Dr Sara Giarola.

Models have been developed by Dr Daniel Crow (Gas), Dr Sara Budinis (Industrial), and Dr Julia Sachs (Building, Power)

[Sustainable Gas Research Innovation 2017,  Wednesday 20th September, 14:00-15:15]

The MUSE model (the ModUlar energy systems Simulation Environment), the modelling environment developed at the Sustainable Gas Institute, simulates plausible pathways of the energy systems transition to a low-carbon economy on a global scale. This presentation presents the distinctive features of MUSE in the context of Energy Systems Models, highlighting its global scope, modularity, flexibility, and technological detail. This is followed by presentation will give a technical overview of the methodology used in selected MUSE sector modules and a discussion of a relevant application of each module in the context of decarbonisation. The upstream gas sector will be presented first, followed by the power sector, the industrial sector and the buildings sector modules, as detailed below.

• The Upstream Gas Module aims to simulate the behaviour of real investors in the upstream gas industry. An application of the module showing the effects of an increasing future carbon price on upstream investment decisions in the USA, subject to uncertainty in fugitive methane emissions will be discussed. Results show that certain volumes can become “stranded” should investors fail to anticipate future CO2 prices.

• The Power Sector Module simulates capacity investment and operational decisions in the power sector for each region. The module is designed to accommodate a configurable investment algorithm (i.e. either a “Simple Centralized” or a “Simple Market” model) depending on the characteristics of each regions market. An application of the module will be presented showing the effects of carbon-constraining policies on the uptake of carbon capture systems and renewables.

• In the Industrial Sector Module, investment and operational decisions are simulated. The sector is modelled including the top-energy intensive industries, such as those manufacturing pulp and paper, iron and steel, chemicals and petrochemicals, non-ferrous metals and non-metallic minerals. A decarbonisation scenario will be presented, focusing on the effects of a CO2 tax in industry on the replacement of the existing stock as well as on fuel switching.

• The Building Sector Module aims to project future demand for the end-uses in households and services on a global scale and to determine the investment in new assets. This module includes advanced modelling methods (agent-based modelling) to capture diversity in decision-making, and enables the inclusion of multiple drivers (such as economic, comfort, environmental criteria) to improve the characterisation of energy-technology diffusion.