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Energy-environment systems analysis

A part of the Energy System Analysis Agency

Project leader: Mattias Höjer, Division of Environmental Strategies Research, KTH

Participants: Nils Brown, Xi Pang, Lan Wang, Ulla Mörtberg and Berit Balfors
Keywords: Energy systems, Systems analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment
Funding: KIC InnoEnergy
Project period: 2011-2014

Project description

The Energy System Analysis Agency (ESA2) aims to create innovation from energy systems analysis research to provide the instruments needed by decision-makers and involves several work packages and approaches, among them Energy-environment systems analysis. In order to comprehensively address sustainability issues, environmental aspects need to be taken into account alongside with energy, technical and economic issues, among other. For this purpose, this project aims at integrating environmental systems analysis models and tools into energy analysis, for use in integrated sustainability assessment in an innovative approach.

The ESA2 project is part of the KIC InnoEnergy initiative as one of the lighthouse projects.

Energy System Analysis Agency

The EU’s ambitious energy and climate objectives require a coordinated approach by all involved stakeholders. To enable sustainable decision support for all relevant decision makers in energy systems, instruments are needed which allow dynamic systems analysis, taking into account the interactions between political, technical, economic and environmental conditions. ESA2 aims to create innovation from energy systems analysis research to provide the instruments needed by decision-makers. One characteristic of the research is the close connection between model-based and non-model-based analyses, which are the two types of outcome ESA2 will offer.

The agency builds on knowledge and experience of 14 European research groups/companies in the field of energy systems analysis and has its starting point in an innovation project with the same name, developed within the Knowledge and Innovation Centre (KIC) InnoEnergy. KIC InnoEnergy is an initiative created under the leadership of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and aims to be the leading engine for innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable energy.

Workpackages that we engage in concern analysis of competences and tools among the project partners and analyses of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for ESA2, energy reports for different sectors and model-based energy systems analyses.

Improving end-use electric efficiency and environmental performance for Smart Grids

Following is a synthesis of an investigation into how smart grids may be deployed to leverage improved end-use electric efficiency and environmental performance. The two complementary approaches are ICT for Energy Efficiency Buildings and Strategic Environmental Assessment for Smart Grids.

ICT for Energy Efficiency Buildings: This sub-project shows how ICT solutions can be leveraged to increase energy efficiency (specifically for electricity) and improve environmental performance in the real estate sector in Sweden. The results show that ICT for energy efficiency in buildings is primarily interesting in single family homes and in commercial property. Single family homes are important for the growth of this sector because of the large amount of electricity that is consumed in the sector (in particular for heating purposes) as well as the fact that the billing structure implies a significant incentive for home-owners to be interested in advanced solutions to decrease costs. In commercial property such solutions are interesting principally because such properties are already technically advanced, and there is an existing structure for energy management with specific interest in the kinds of technologies considered.

Strategic Environmental Assessment for Smart Grids: This sub-project looks at the development of smart grids from the point of view of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The sub-project concludes that there is currently little application of SEA in the energy sector due to the fact that many of infrastructure decisions are made by private companies and not public authorities. A proposed solution to this is to apply SEA in the context of corporate sustainability initiatives. Further benefits from SEA for smart grids are its benefits in environmental enhancement and knowledge brokering.

Shaping our energy system - combining European modelling expertise

The overarching aim of the case studies analysed in this work package is to address the question of how the European energy system can be suitably transformed and how the ambitious climate goals in Europe and in the different member states can be achieved in an economically reasonable way. In other words the design of the future energy system in Europe is analysed against a background of a safe, sustainable and affordable energy supply for everyone, together with a strengthening of the European business location. For this purpose ESA2 applies its in-depth modelling expertise to provide scenario calculations complementing the EU Energy Roadmap 2050, published by the European Commission in December 2011. The overall methodological objective has been to demonstrate how model coupling and data harmonisation can lead to superior results in terms of scope, consistency, and transparency. For this purpose a selection and coupling of several models tailored to answer the research questions addressed has been undertaken.


Institutes and companies that collaborate in ESA2 are: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany; KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V, Germany; Electricité de France (EDF), France; Universität Stuttgart, Germany; Vision on Technology (VITO), Belgium; AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland; Główny Instytut Górnictwa, Poland; Technische Universität Dresden, Germany; and Seven2one, Germany.


Brown, N., Wang, L., Balfors, B. & Mörtberg, U. 2013. Sectoral Energy Report. Synthesis Report: ICT for Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Strategic Environmental Assessment for Smart Grids. Division of Environmental Strategies Research, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. TRITA-INFRA-FMS 2013:1, ISSN 1652-5442.

Suwala, W., Wyrwa, A., Pluta, M., Jedrysik, E., Karl, U., Fehrenbach, D., Wietschel, M., Bossman, T., Elsland, R., Fichtner, W., Genoese, M., Hartel, R., Bublitz, A., Merkel, E., Poganietz, W.-R., Silveira, S., Morfeldt, J., Mörtberg, U., Höjer, M., Brown, N., Pang, X., Möst, D., Muller, T., Gunkel, D., Blesl, M., Kuder, R., Beestermöller, R., & Nijs, W. 2013. Shaping our energy system – combining European modelling expertise. Case studies of the European energy system in 2050. Energy System Analysis Agency (ESA2), KIC InnoEnergy, European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

The reports are available free of charge. Please send a brief e-mail with your name, the name of your company / institution and the report title to


Find out more about ESA2 at

Find out more about ESA2 research at KTH at the KTH research database

Read more about KIC InnoEnergy at