Analysis of framing conditions for integrating renewable energies into electricity markets using agent-based simulation

Funding Organisation: German Federal Ministry fort he Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Co-operation: DLR Institut für Technische Thermodynamik; Internationales Zentrum für Kultur- und Technikforschung der Universität Stuttgart, Abteilung für Interdisziplinäre Risikoforschung und Nachhaltige Technikentwicklung (ZIRN); Institut für Sozialwissenschaften der Universität Stuttgart; Kast & Winter Simulation Solutions; Institut für ZukunftsEnergieSysteme (IZES), Saarbrücken

Project duration: May 2008 to March 2010 (completed)

Contact: Kristina Nienhaus

Final report: Amiris final report (in German) (pdf, 2.4MB)


Due to successful policy support electricity generation from renewable energies gained a rele-vant share in the German energy supply system. To achieve long term policy targets for renew-able energies, a continuous adaptation of the existing supply structure is necessary. New regula-tions shall ensure a smooth transition for renewable energy power plant operators from guaran-teed feed-in tariffs to the free electricity market.
A variety of stakeholders is involved in such a transformation process, which are interlinked by partly complex interaction patterns. Future framing conditions of market actors are characterised by

  • Various energy and environmental policy targets, which need to be harmonised with re-spect to their direct and indirect incentives for different market actors;
  • Institutional interdependencies between important market actors (i.e. power plant op-erators, grid operators, etc.);
  • Complex physical and financial interactions between market actors;
  • Interactions between the electricity and heat markets (combined heat and power pro-duction).

It is expected that appropriate simulation tools can help to better understand the options for action of the relevant stakeholders, and the implications of the interactions between market actors on the overall system. The approach of agent based simulation seems to be particularly well suited to model adaptive structures and behavioural change, as it focuses on modelling learning actors (‘agents’) embedded in a social system with individual objectives and perception patterns.
The project aims at developing a methodological basis for modelling the behaviour of key elec-tricity market actors under various policy farming conditions. Setting up a simple agent based simulation model shall demonstrate the basic usefulness of agent based simulation in the field of policy oriented energy systems analysis.

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