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A doorway to the future of energy production in the EU

The EU has ambitions to become climate-neutral by 2050. This will require a dramatic shift toward renewable and clean energy sources, as well as drastic economic and social adaptations. The EU-funded Open ENTRANCE project is developing an open-source platform for assessing low-carbon transition pathways.

Energy

In order to meet its climate targets, the EU relies upon accurate energy models that can reveal the most effective pathways to decarbonisation. The Open ENTRANCE (Open ENergy TRansition ANalyses for a low-carbon Economy) project is accelerating these efforts with a transparent and integrated service for assessing low-carbon transition pathways, developed by a consortium of 14 partners in energy modelling. Coordinated by Sintef Energi in Norway, the 4-year project aims to deliver a platform that integrates macroeconomic and energy system models, as well as providing economic and human behavioural data relevant to the energy transition. Open ENTRANCE is building on the capacity of existing carbon transition frameworks by improving the overall quality of the models within the platform and integrating the models so that they improve one another, offer faster and more sensitive analyses, integrate large-scale datasets on human behaviour, and combine detailed bottom-up and top-down approaches. The project has developed four scenarios for low-carbon energy futures at a pan-European and national level, covering subsequent 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global temperature increases. These quantitative scenarios were created using a tailor-made extension of the GENEeSYS-MOD energy system model, and validated against comparable pathways of the MESSAGix-GLOBIOM integrated assessment model used by the IPCC. Open ENTRANCE has also developed in-depth case studies about selected topics such as how energy flexibility in households will impact the investment needs at the European level, and how optimal use of energy among communities of actors will impact the overall load profile. Moreover, the project has started macroeconomic analyses to provide new knowledge about the economic consequences of the transition to a low-carbon society. By offering this research in an open-source system guaranteed to remain available for the next 10 years, the project team hopes the platform will be reused and further developed by the scientific community, and the collected datasets leveraged in other carbon transition research. Concluding in 2023, the work will help stakeholders determine macroeconomic consequences of the energy transition, facilitate dialogue between researchers, policymakers and industry, and ultimately identify the best ways to transition to a low-carbon economy.

Keywords

Open ENTRANCE, energy, transition, carbon, climate, global, economic, platform, open-source