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A TIMES-like open-source model for the Italian energy system

Matteo Nicoli

A TIMES-like open-source model for the Italian energy system.

Rel. Laura Savoldi, Daniele Lerede. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare, 2021

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Abstract:

One of the main problems that humanity as a whole is facing, even if still without dramatic success, is the fight against climate change, caused by the progressive increase in the average temperature of the planet that is occurring in the recent decades, and which is expected to continue throughout the next decades, if anything will be done. The scientific community is now unanimous in believing that the main cause of the increase in temperature is the increase in the average concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, in turn mainly caused by the consumption of fossil fuels to satisfy human activities. In this context, the energy strategies that will be applied in the coming years play a crucial role. In recent years, institutions have increasingly engaged in taking initiatives aimed at fighting the causes of climate change, implementing energy transition strategies to adopt abate climate-altering emissions into the atmosphere. Scientific research on energy system modeling plays a key role in supporting policy makers, providing accurate scenario analyses, and investigating possible solutions aimed at the development of an increasingly sustainable energy mix. The models currently used in that research field are typically commercial software that aim at satisfying given final energy service demands using different technologies, to be selected on the basis of an optimization criterion identified in the minimization of the total cost of the energy system. The use of such software involves some issues: being commercial software, they are not freely available but only by purchasing them, limiting the audience of users to those who have the necessary economic resources; moreover, access to the source code is allowed under conditions, and finally a third-party verification of the results, their reproducibility, thus scientific reliability and free access to input data and assumptions is not ensured. In that framework, the purpose of this thesis activity is then to develop an open-source model for the Italian energy system. The model has been developed taking as a reference the TIMES-Italia model, an energy model developed by ENEA in the last years and belonging to the TIMES family. The work first reviews and updates the TIMES-Italia database, subsequently implemented in an energy system modeling framework developed in Python language, the so-called Tools for Energy Modeling Optimization and Analysis, or Temoa, in brief. Finally, a comparison between the results obtained by the tools is performed, demonstrating that any discrepancies are within a tolerance threshold and that they can be considered equivalent for the purpose of scenario analysis. At the end of the thesis activity, an open-source and validated model for the Italian energy system is available to the community of modelers, model for which it is possible to implement modifications and add-ons, also regarding the optimization criteria and the algorithm. In particular, possible future developments include the introduction of a sustainability criterion in the optimization paradigm, to overcome simple cost minimization and offer policy makers a detailed and useful analysis of the effect of any legislative interventions that are being taken into consideration.

Relators: Laura Savoldi, Daniele Lerede
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 176
Subjects:
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-30 - ENERGY AND NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/18850
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