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  • Open Access

Introduction to Energy Systems Modelling

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Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics2012148:BF03399363

  • Published:


The energy demand and supply projections of the Swiss government funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and carried out by a consortium of institutes and consulting companies are based on two types of energy models: macroeconomic general equilibrium models and bottom-up models for each sector. While the macroeconomic models are used to deliver the economic, demographic and policy framework conditions as well as the macroeconomic impacts of particular scenarios, the bottom-up models simulate the technical developments in the final energy sectors and try to optimise electricity generation under the given boundary conditions of a particular scenario. This introductory article gives an overview of some of the energy models used in Switzerland and — more importantly — some insights into current advanced energy system modelling practice pointing to the characteristics of the two modelling types and their advantages and limitations.


  • energy modelling
  • bottom-up
  • top-down
  • hybrid energy system modelling
  • Switzerland