China Power System Modeling Workshop: Enabling Transformation

Many countries around the world are transforming and modernizing their energy systems to be more efficient, reliable, low-carbon, and resilient. Energy system assets are not only capital intensive and long lasting, but also vital to the social and economic activities of each country. Therefore, decisions pertaining to future energy system development need to be founded on robust energy scenario analysis, which helps to identify opportunities and risks associated with different policy options. The transition to clean energy systems presents unique considerations that may not have featured in traditional energy system models and scenarios. For example, the rise of renewables, demand response, and electrification could mean more complex interactions between end-use sectors and energy sector stakeholders. Also, introduction of power markets and market based drivers for energy transition needs to be considered carefully in the modelling and scenario design. To improve decision making in this context, it is critical that future energy scenario users and developers come together to build a shared vision of sector transformation pathways, as well as the key assumptions and uncertainties behind them.

Co-organised by the “21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP)” initiative and IRENA's “Long-term Energy Scenarios (LTES) for the Clean Energy Transition” campaign of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and with critical support from China National Renewable Energy Centre, State Grid Energy Research Institute, and State Grid (Suzhou) City & Energy Research Institute, this workshop brought together policy makers and leading energy system modelers from China and abroad to share their experience in using models and scenario analysis to address some of the key questions in the electric power sector today.

The workshop engaged policymakers in understanding the purpose of scenario analysis – particularly in the context of the clean energy transition – and the features and applications of various energy system models. The workshop took a subject-based approach, focusing on three key issues pertinent to China’s (and many other countries’) power system transition today: renewable integration, transmission planning, and power system flexibility. There are certain overlaps between these three subjects, and many other subjects exist for future exploration. The workshop sought to be the start of a continuous exchange and deeper exploration into the use of modeling analysis for policymaking purposes around the globe.