ETH – Calliope


Calliope is a multi-scale energy systems (MUSES) modelling framework. Calliope is a framework to develop energy system models, with a focus on flexibility, high spatial and temporal resolution, the ability to execute many runs based on the same base model, and a clear separation of framework (code) and model (data).


What does the model do?

A model based on Calliope consists of a collection of files that define the energy generation and conversion technologies, locations and generation potentials for intermittent sources in a given energy system. These can be very specific (e.g. wind potential in a hill somewhere in the Rhine valley) to aggregated (e.g. energy demand for northern Switzerland). Calliope takes these files, constructs a least-cost optimisation problem, calculates the capacities and activities of the different technologies needed to solve the optimisation, and reports the results.


What kind of questions can the model address?

  • What is the cheapest mix of technologies to supply electricity to our country, given a demand profile and policy choices on generation technologies?
  • How often do we need gas turbines as a backup if we change to a renewable-based system with X wind and Y sun availability?
  • On which hours or days over a long period (one or more years) are we least able to depend on renewables to supply our electricity?


What kind of answers can the model provide?

  • Generated electricity by source for every hour in a year, and the generation capacity needed to provide that
  • At least X GW of gas turbines are needed to cover demand at all times. They are used only Y often on an average day but they actually become a base load source in winter.
  • With its current constraints, the electricity system is unable to cover all of the demand for 103 hours per year, 83% of which are in winter because solar and hydro output are lowest in that season.
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