SDEWES 2023: Modelling results and policy implications about energy just transition


The Technoeconomics of Energy Systems laboratory (TEESlab) participated at the 18th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy. Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES) that took place from the 24th to 29th September 2023 at Dubrovnik. This year’s Conference was dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge on methods, policies and technologies for increasing the sustainability of development by de-coupling growth from the use of natural resources and by a transition to a knowledge-based economy.

TEESlab provided two interesting lectures and significant insights about enhancing energy transition and supporting decarbonisation in the Greek energy sector. Both presentations showcased results from the application of in-house energy simulation models (DREEM, STREEM, BSAM and AIM) to explore different energy transition pathways.

In particular, Dimitris Papantonis, research associate at TEESlab, explained how the decarbonisation of the residential building stock could support a just transition in the coal and carbon intensive region of Megalopolis. The presentation focused on the application of the DREEM model in two different energy transition scenarios, aiming to investigate whether Megalopolis should stick to the existing plan and invest in new natural gas infrastructure or should invest in electrification right from the start. This study was based on the work implemented within the HORIZON 2020 TIPPING+ project, with the support from the University of Piraeus Research Center.

The results from this modelling analysis indicated that investing in electrification leads to lower annual energy consumption and a better environmental footprint towards 2050, while investing in natural gas burdens households and widens energy poverty. Thus, Megalopolis should reconsider its policies related to the energy transition of the residential sector, so as to address deeply the energy transition challenges and protect the most vulnerable households.

The full presentation is available here.

In addition, Serafeim Michas, research associate at TEESlab, presented his study on renewable energy sources capacity mixes which enable disengagement of Greece from natural gas use for power generation, while being cost effective to implement. His presentation showcased the results from three simulation models (STREEM, BSAM, AIM), soft-linked in a stepwise manner, that were used to examine scenarios for photovoltaics and wind turbines’ capacity shares in the renewable energy mix.

The key conclusions of this study are listed below:

  • Decoupling from natural gas, while ensuring achievement of power sector and environmental targets, in an economically efficient way, is feasible with balanced mixes of wind turbines and photovoltaics.
  • The “RES Go-to-areas” measure needs to be implemented as soon as possible to allow coal phase out without lock-in to natural gas.
  • Incentives for prosumers to invest in renewable energy projects, are needed, in order to re-initiate investments in rooftop PV which have been stagnant in Greece and take advantage of the large rooftop potential of households.

The full presentation is available here.