Energy Systems Analysis

The department develops and analyze energy scenarios, develop strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, analyze the composition of energy carriers and analyze possible future technology choices and energy efficiency solutions. ​ We analyze both cost-efficient design and operation of local energy systems, as well as overall analyses with a societal perspective, covering the connection between different energy sectors. ​

We focus on the effect of technology learning, new technologies, behavior aspects, flexibility solutions, new energy carriers, energy storage, sector coupling and political measures. ​Our energy system models are developed in close collaboration with national/local authorities, organizations, private sector (energy and industry), technology experts etc.​ The research group develop and use several types of mathematical models to increase the knowledge base related to the future energy system. 

ESA has broad international collaboration on the long-term energy systems modelling and are currently Operating Agent of the Technology Collaboration Programme IEA-ETSAP ( We are also an active partner in the Research Centers for renewable energy (FMEs):

Scenario modeling / Scenario-modellering

IFE does scenario analysis and transition studies that map out different pathways the Norwegian and European energy system could follow over the coming years, focusing on policies, investments, technologies, and other choices that policy makers and other decision makers can influence.

We study the effect on the energy system of:​

  • Flexibility and smart solutions​
  • Energy and climate scenarios​
  • Energy policy instruments​
  • New energy markets​
  • Uncertainty​
  • User behaviour and acceptance​
  • Pilots and implementation​

Local  energy system models / Lokale langsiktige energisystemmodeller

IFE performs modelling and analysis of local energy systems, such as week grid areas, communities, buildings, charging stations etc. The modelling provides insight into cost-effective design and operation of the system. We mainly use short-term energy system models, focusing on the optimal competition and interplay between energy carriers and technologies within the system.

The techno-economic optimization models for local energy systems can calculate cost-optimal design of distributed energy systems, including local power production, hydrogen systems, storage options and flexibility in end use demand.

For these analyses we have developed models in TIMES and Julia with hourly time resolution. The local models are used in project specific analysis to understand the details in a concrete case/area. The Julia model is developed specifically for hybrid systems to enable better decision support regarding technology choice, investment volume and timing of the investment.

National and international long-term energy system models / Nasjonale og internasjonale langsiktigeenergisystemmodeller

IFE works with long-term energy system models at a local, national and international level, focusing on cost-optimal investments and operation to meet the future energy demand at least cost.

We mainly use the modeling framework TIMES. TIMES is a long-term optimization model of the energy system​. The modelling framework is developed since 1981 by ETSAP, a Technology Collaboration program in IEA. We use the model to analyse cost-optimal development of the energy system with various assumptions on future policies, demand projections, technology development etc.

The national model IFE-Times-Norway is developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE)​. The model is a technology-rich model divided into five geographical regions corresponding to the current electricity market spot price areas. The model provides operational and investment decisions of the whole energy system from 2018, towards 2050. The model has an option for stochastic modelling of weather-dependent power supply and heat demand

The European model IFE-TIMES-Europe is currently under development. In this model all European countries are represented by at least one node. We will use this model to understand the impact of trade of energy between Norway and Europe, and how the Norwegian energy system is influenced by the European development.