Power System model for expansion planning and unit-commitment



Topics of our customers

  • Future structural development in the power system
  • Identification of market integration of power plants
  • Operation and interaction of power plants in the long-term
  • Role of renewables in different electricity markets and systems
  • Interactions between power plants, grids and energy storages

Background of model application

All electricity systems in the world are in a huge transition process. In the upcoming years, the increasing integration of large volumes of electricity from renewables into the existing supply structure will lead to large changes of the plant portfolios in the systems. Until 2050, electricity from renewable energy sources will become the dominate role in the electricity supply. Due to this change, the electricity generation will be more distributed and based on very different sources and technologies with also very intermittent feed-in. The national electricity systems will continue the trend to higher internationalization and coupling. The ENTIGRIS model of the Fraunhofer ISE covers exactly this development by providing the opportunity to analyze the changing energy system and providing recommendations for our clients.

Characteristics and benefits of the model

The electricity model ENTIGRIS is an expansion planning model for the European and North African electricity systems. It was developed in the Fraunhofer project “Supergrid” and extended in the public research project RES-DEGREE funded by BMBF. The model results can be used to analyze the long-term portfolio of power plants, regional specific expansion of renewables and conventional power plants, required grid capacities and the development of total system costs. Scenarios for the long-term development are calculated by considering cost projections and long-term climate policies such as framework conditions of limited CO2 emissions or defined share of renewables in the electricity system. The detailed coverage of the generation from renewables in combination with an optimization of conventional power plants and other relevant system components (high-voltage transmission grid, storages etc.) enables to quantify the effects in the future electricity system in Germany, Europe or North Africa. The model can be easily adapted to other countries (specific references exist for South Africa, Jordan, and Tunisia, in addition to wider use in Europe and North Africa).

© Fraunhofer ISE

Input and Output of ENTIGRIS – Europe/Germany.

The optimization model ENTIGRIS is developed in GAMS and has the following key elements and strengths:

  • Integrated expansion planning over 20 to 40 years
  • Operation of power plants is included in the expansion planning with an reduced and preliminary approach
  • Integration of potentials of renewable energy sources in all covered European country by using an GIS approach
  •  “Cost minimization” approach takes into account costs for construction and operation of renewables, conventional power plants, transmission capacities within and between countries, storage systems as well as other flexibility options
  • Regional specific expansion of renewables and conventional power plants
  • Use of sub-national grid structure for the transmission grid including transmission losses
  • Programming language: General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS), Solver: IBM ILOG CPLEX optimizer
© Fraunhofer ISE

Geographical coverage of ENTIGRIS

The geographical coverage is currently possible with over 400 regions in Germany, Western/Central/South/North Europe with 23 regions and North Africa with 20 regions by considering detailed RES potential, conventional power plants and grid capacities. The following additional countries have been modelled explicitly: Tunisia, Jordan, South Africa, Kuwait and Egypt.

Potential users

  • Utilities
  • Grid Operators
  • Political decision makers


  • Kost, Christoph (2015). Renewable energy in North Africa: Modeling of future electricity scenarios and the impact on manufacturing and employment. Dissertation, Universität Dresden. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-176538
  • RES-DEGREE project: Towards an Energy System in Europe Based on Renewables, Duration: 01.01.2014 - 30.11.2015, German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology BMWi.
  • SuperGrid, Components and Systems for HVDC Transmission from Generators and Storages to Suppliers in the European-Nort African Electrical Network, Energy- economic Analysis of a Future Super Grid between North Africa and Europe, Duration 2011 – 2014
  • Kost, Christoph; Junne, Tobias; Senkpiel, Charlotte; Hartmann, Niklas; Schlegl, Thomas; Zampara, Marilena; Capros, Pantelis (2015): Renewable Energy Expansion and Interaction in Europe: High Resolution Modeling of Germany and Greece. 12th International Conference of the European Energy Market 2015 20.05.2015-22.05.2015 in Lisboa.
  • Kost, Christoph; Hartmann, Niklas; Senkpiel, Charlotte; Eikenberg, Lukas; Junne, Tobias; Schlegl, Thomas (2014): Modeling concept for renewable energy expansion and interaction in Europe: The case of Germany and Greece. Rome, Italy, 10/28/2014.