Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-359
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-359

Submitted as: model description paper 22 Nov 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 22 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

TIM: Modelling pathways to meet Ireland’s long-term energy system challenges with the TIMES-Ireland Model (v1.0)

Olexandr Balyk1,2, James Glynn1,2,3, Vahid Aryanpur1,2, Ankita Gaur1,2, Jason McGuire1,2, Andrew Smith1,2, Xiufeng Yue1,2,4, and Hannah Daly1,2 Olexandr Balyk et al.
  • 1Energy Policy and Modelling Group, SFI MaREI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Ireland
  • 2School of Engineering, University College Cork, Ireland
  • 3Center on Global Energy Policy, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, USA
  • 4Dalian University of Technology, China

Abstract. Ireland has significantly increased its climate mitigation ambition, with a recent government commitment to reduce greenhouse-gases by an average of 7 % per year in the period to 2030 and a “net-zero” target for 2050, underpinned by a series of five-year carbon budgets. Energy systems optimisation modelling (ESOM) is a widely-used tool to inform pathways to address long-term energy challenges. This article describes a new ESOM developed to inform Ireland's energy system decarbonisation challenge. The TIMES-Ireland Model (TIM) is an optimisation model of the Irish energy system, which calculates the cost-optimal fuel and technology mix to meet future energy service demands in the transport, buildings, industry and agriculture sectors, while respecting constraints in greenhouse-gas emissions, primary energy resources and feasible deployment rates. TIM is developed to take into account Ireland's unique energy system context, including a very high potential for offshore wind energy and the challenge of integrating this on a relatively isolated grid, a very ambitious decarbonisation target in the period to 2030, the policy need to inform five-year carbon budgets to meet policy targets, and the challenge of decarbonising heat in the context of low building stock thermal efficiency and high reliance on fossil fuels. To that end, model features of note include “future proofing” with flexible temporal and spatial definitions, with a possible hourly time resolution, unit commitment and capacity expansion features in power sector, residential and passenger transport underpinned by detailed bottom-up sectoral models, cross-model harmonisation and soft-linking with demand and macro models. The paper also outlines a priority list of future model developments to better meet the challenge of deeply decarbonising energy supply and demand, taking into account equity, cost-effectiveness and technical feasibility. To support transparency and openness in decision-making, TIM is available to download under a Creative Commons licence.

Olexandr Balyk et al.

Status: open (until 17 Jan 2022)

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Olexandr Balyk et al.

Data sets

TIMES-Ireland Model Olexandr Balyk, James Glynn, Vahid Aryanpur, Ankita Gaur, Jason McGuire, Andrew Smith, Xiufeng Yue, Alessandro Chiodi, Maurizio Gargiulo and Hannah Daly https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5708680

Olexandr Balyk et al.

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Short summary
Ireland has significantly increased its climate mitigation ambition, with a recent commitment to reduce greenhouse-gases by an average of 7 % per year in the period to 2030 and a “net-zero” target for 2050. This article describes TIMES-Ireland model (TIM) developed to inform Ireland's energy system decarbonisation challenge. The paper also outlines a priority list of future model developments to better meet the challenge, taking into account equity, cost-effectiveness and technical feasibility.