Accounting for renewable energy supply intermittency in energy systems modelling

Simon Dunstall, Tarek ElGindy, Nahid Jafari, Melanie Ayre, Andreas T. Ernst, Paul Graham, Luke Reedman, Martin Savelsbergh, Stuart Woodman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the development and application of an integer programming model for simultaneously proposing electricity transmission system augmentations and the selection of electricity generation projects over multi-year time horizons. Undertaking network design while simultaneously addressing renewable energy supply variability over time and space is a difficult proposition. It was however a key design requirement for this model, due to the model's intended use as part of studies of plausible scenarios for Australia's energy future to 2050. The model has been successfully utilised within a multi-stage modelling workflow, being preceded by an economic model of the energy sector and followed by a high resolution simulation of the national electricity market. Together the three models flesh out the details of electricity systems of the future, in terms of the location and technologies for individual power plants, the magnitude of transmission line capacity expansions, and the energy and financial flows in the resulting networks. We present the results from various analyses that have been undertaken using the model, with emphasis on the integration of renewable and fossil-fuel supply options to meet end-user demand, and also describe some of the mathematical and systems-development work that was required in order to yield a model which was sufficiently detailed, solvable in reasonable time, and able to be embedded in a powerful yet easy-to-use GIS and database system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, MODSIM 2013
EditorsJulia Piantadosi, Robert Anderssen, John Boland
Place of PublicationCanberra ACT Australia
PublisherModelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780987214331
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Congress on Modelling and Simulation 2013: Adapting to Change: the multiple roles of modelling - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20136 Dec 2013
Conference number: 20th


ConferenceInternational Congress on Modelling and Simulation 2013
Abbreviated titleMODSIM 2013
Internet address


  • Electricity transmission and generation
  • Integer programming
  • Network design

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