Development of an open framework for a qualitative and quantitative comparison of power system and electricity grid models for Europe

The ongoing needs to develop power systems towards more environmentally friendly technologies with respect to climate change in conjunction with the continuous evolution of the respective market conditions is leading to a transition away from the traditional system operation. The upcoming challenges have motivated the development of an increasing number of models for transmission grids. Nevertheless, the high complexity of such models renders it exceedingly difficult to compare their results as well as any corresponding conclusions.

In this paper, we develop an open framework to compare a variety of pan-European transmission grid models with a strong focus on the German power system. The comparison is performed in both a qualitative and quantitative manner, depending on the investigated modeling aspect including input data, methods, system boundaries and results. The quantitative model comparison is done by performing harmonized model experiments, one for 2016 as back testing and one for 2030 for analyzing the future system.

Core elements of our comparison framework are:

We proved that our comparison framework is suitable to make similarities and differences between the different model results visible, e.g. using quadratic heat maps. To ensure transparency and to support the open modeling community, the fact sheets with the model specifications and the database with selected model results are uploaded on the open energy platform.