METIS is a research project of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER) for the development of energy simulator software with the aim to further support ENER’s evidence-based policy-making. It is developed by a consortium (Artelys, IAEW, ConGas and Frontier Economics) as part of Horizons 2020 and is closely followed by DG ENER.
Unlike other simulators, METIS will be owned and operated by DG ENER, with the support of the Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre. The intention is to have an in-house tool that can quickly provide insights and robust answers to complex economic and energy related questions, focusing more on the short-term operation of the energy system and markets. METIS was used, along with PRIMES, in the impact assessment of the Market Design Initiative.
Figure 1: METIS module architecture
METIS is an energy model covering with high granularity (geographical, time etc) the whole European energy system for electricity, gas and heat. In its final version it should be able to simulate both system and markets operation for these energy carriers, on an hourly level for a whole year and under uncertainty (capturing weather variations and other stochastic events). METIS works complementary to long-term energy system models (like PRIMES and POTEnCIA), as it focuses on simulating a specific year in greater detail.
METIS has a modular structure that makes it easy to extend the software through the addition of new modules or the adjustment of existing ones. The model runs are performed by a software dedicated to large energy system optimization. All components and modules are managed by a platform providing a common framework and set of interoperable libraries.
Although intended to be a detailed output-tool, significant emphasis is also placed on its user friendliness and fast operability. The end goal of METIS is that it can be used not only by expert modellers, but also (trained) policy makers and analysts.
With the first version of METIS having been delivered in January 2015, new versions are expected to be delivered gradually over the next two years, including additional modelling capabilities related to electricity and gas markets, heat and demand side modelling.
Figure 2. METIS: Power Model
Figure 3. METIS: Gas Model
Parallel to the software development, the consortium will be producing studies using METIS. These are intended as technical studies of a length of around 50 pages, fully exploiting the available capabilities of the METIS software. The scope of the studies is threefold:
(a) Investigate topics that are deemed important for DG ENER, providing quantitative results associated with the impact of the examined policies or aspects of the energy system;
(b) Present the capability and appropriateness of the software to address policy questions of interest to DG ENER;
(c) Provide ready templates for DG ENER in order to perform similar studies in the future.
Which policy questions can METIS answer and which ones can’t it?
Upon final delivery, METIS will be able to answer a large number of questions and perform highly detailed analyses of the electricity, gas and heat sectors. A number of topics will be possible to tackle with METIS for the whole EU and/or specific regions/Member States (the list below is indicative):
- The impacts of mass Renewable Energy Sources integration to the energy system operation and markets functioning (for one or all sectors);
- Modelling of electricity and gas markets under different market designs;
- Modelling of electricity and gas flows between zones;
- Cost-benefit analysis of infrastructure projects, as well as impacts on security of supply;
- Generation adequacy analysis;
- Studying the potential synergies between the various energy carriers (electricity, gas, heat);
- What is the cost / savings of a specific measure for a given year?
- Impact of new energy usages (e.g. electrical vehicles, demand response) on the network reinforcement and generation costs.
On the other hand METIS is not designed to answer (at least in its first stage) the following questions (again list is indicative):
- Any type of projection for the whole energy system;
- Optimal investment planning (capacity expansion) for the EU generation or transmission infrastructure;
- Impacts of measures on network tariffs and retail markets;
- Short-term system security problems for the electricity and gas system (requiring a precise estimation of the state of the network and potential stability issues);
- Flow-based market coupling and measures on the redesign of bidding areas.
Figure 4. Performing Studies with METIS - Screenshot from user interface
METIS will be fully transparent concerning its modelling techniques applied, with the final goal of being able to offer the relevant source code and non-commercial data inputs. On top all technical documentation and studies produced will be available.
For transparency reasons, all deliverables related to METIS, including all technical specifications documents and studies, are intended to be published on the website of DG ENER.
Kostis Sakellaris joined the Economic Analysis Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy in 2012. He has been working in the modelling team since then, heavily involved in a number of energy-related impact assessments and projects (METIS, Market Design, 2030 Energy and Climate Framework, Reference Scenario). Prior to that, he worked as an electricity market expert in the Markets and Competition Unit of the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy. He graduated as a mathematician in Athens, Greece and holds an MSc in Mathematical Finance from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
 Crystal Optimization Engine, property of Artelys.
 Artelys Crystal Platform, property of Artelys.
 The planned version of METIS will include some capacity expansion capability, able to optimize the capacity of certain transmission and generation assets. Future versions of METIS may have additional capabilities.
 Once operational, the envisaged link is expect to be the following: