Keywords: energy planning, decision support systems, energy optimisation, linear programming, mixed integer programming
Model-based decision support in energy planning
Models have become standard tools in energy planning. Fast computers and ever improving optimisation packages now allow us to solve problems within a few minutes that were out of range 20 years ago and that 10 years ago could only be solved in several CPU-hours. Fully interactive data bank systems with standardised user interfaces and on-line data access support easy modifications and adaptations of energy models, retrieval and display of results, as well as coupling decision support tools to all kinds of data available in the system. This article gives a brief overview of the objectives in energy planning, especially with respect to different planning horizons. It reviews the types of models applied to different applications and the requirements such tools have to satisfy. The second part surveys some applications of energy optimisation models. These examples have been chosen to illustrate different application areas of energy models from short-term optimal power supply up to very long-term (100 years) resource allocation and technology choice, and from optimising a municipal district heat system up to an energy model for the whole world.