Long-Term Energy System Planning

We assist our business partners in designing a cost-optimal future energy system in terms of energy conversion and energy consumption technologies. System-wide future capital and operating expenditures are minimised while realising pre-defined targets on energy efficiency, low-carbon energy and energy security.

Based on energy system modelling, we can provide technology explicit design choices for the future energy system. By generating multiple alternative designs in the form of scenarios we support an informed choice on high-capex energy related investments and on smart policy design to govern them.


We offer a system approach as is required for typical long-term planning in the highly complex nature of the future energy systems. We deliver this system approach by means of optimisation models to ensure least-cost energy system planning while realising strategic objectives like energy efficiency and low-carbon energy.

As a comparison, classic project based analysis cannot guarantee total cost optimality because future energy systems are highly complex with dual role agents (consumer and producer), energy storage, transport bottlenecks, demand side management, different  and possibly conflicting societal objectives, etc.. In addition the energy market is exposed to many uncertainties such as volatile energy prices, changing environmental regulations, Green House Gas emission trading schemes and unprecedented up-take of  renewable energy sources. In the face of this complexity and uncertainty, project based analysis cannot guarantee total cost optimality.


The system approach that we offer, enables a wide variety of insights to establish a resilient plan. The number of possible focus areas is quite large and contains for example:

  • Long-term investment strategy for energy conversion technologies
  • Insights in the effect of peak supply and demand on the energy system and resulting investment requirements for energy storage and demand management
  • Smart policy design to nudge energy system investments towards a future sustainable energy system
  • Design of a future low-carbon energy system


We offer our service to governmental as well as industrial business partners.


For our model based support to long-term energy system planning we make use of the TIMES energy system analysis framework. This framework is developed and maintained in an implementing agreement of the International Energy Agency which is supported by nearly 70 countries worldwide. As such the framework has a proven track record with a high quality standard. This energy system analysis framework is complemented with public or proprietary data to match the current energy system under consideration as well as to represent future technology options.

In agreement with our business partners we define specific objectives in addition to complement the desired cost-optimality. Once these objectives have been integrated in the modelling framework we generate multiple future energy system design plans. Based on these alternatives we start an interactive process between our business partner and us in order to further refine our analysis. This process results in solid future energy system designs.

Expected Result/outcome of this service/deliverable

Our result can be shaped in the form of reports, numerical analysis results as well as stakeholder presentations.

These results can for example consist of:

  • an investment roadmap for the future specifying technologies, size, costs and environmental impact.
  • a comparative assessment of different technology options in a future energy system plan.
  • an overview of expected capital and operating expenditures to realise the energy system plan.
  • the expected cost calculation of realising specific objects like energy efficiency and low-carbon energy.

Contact at EnergyVille
Frank Meinke-Hubeny
Project Manager Smart Energy and Built Environment at EnergyVille/VITO

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