The successful transformation of the energy system towards a carbon-free future naturally entails increased energy sector coupling. The process includes the introduction of electric alternatives for traditionally fossil-powered vehicles and system equipment, creating new high-frequent interdependencies between sectors. This increases complexity and, therefore, the difficulty of estimating the potentials and risks of infrastructure development plans and operational strategies. The ESM-Regio project was started to address this issue. In the project, we develop an energy system model for regions the size of counties with high spatial and temporal resolution. The model combines the four sectors electricity, natural gas, heat, and transport, each modeled by a group of experts, into a unified optimization model. With the unified model, different energy system development scenarios can be evaluated for multiple operational strategies, allowing for informed decision making by local stakeholders.
Our contribution to the project lies in the modeling and simulation of the transport sector. At its core, the task revolves around realistically depicting the mobility demand of private persons and freight traffic in the area. Based on that we can determine when, where, how much, and how urgent energy is needed and, consequently, how the sector’s demand can be shaped to reduce system costs, carbon emissions, and/or increase customer utility.