• Energy system models are used for planning national energy systems. There is little practical guidance on how to best incorporate existing techniques that help plan energy systems under uncertainty. Given the large costs of energy infrastructure and the important role it plays in the economy, it is essential to improve the way in which we plan our energy systems.

One technique to manage uncertainty in models is called global sensitivity analysis. In this paper, we provide guidelines to conduct a global sensitivity analysis of an energy system model. We use simple energy system models to show how global sensitivity analysis works. We then use a more complex and realistic model to show what sort of results could be generated in reality.

The paper shows that using global sensitivity analysis provides added insights to those who develop and use energy system models. The approach can identify which uncertain parameters most influence the model results. This allows researchers to focus their effort on better understanding these parameters, increasing the robustness of their work, and increasing confidence in the models and their results.

Researchers: William UsherTrevor BarnesNandi MoksnesTaco Niet

Funders: Mitacs (Globalink Research Award)

Date: Aug 2022 – Nov 2022 (Paper in peer review now)