Pathways to Sustainable European Energy Pathways
Pathways to Sustainable European Energy Systems






The European Pathways programme


The Pathways research programme has been carried out since 2005. It involves several partnering projects such as the E39, E2B2 and NEPP projects and several external supporting participants such as Vattenfall, EON and Swedish Energy Agency.


Key topics of the Pathway research programme include: the role of the existing energy infrastructure; defining and analysing scenarios (or pathways) towards Year 2050; and assessing the large-scale integration of renewable electricity such as variable (intermittent) generation from wind and solar. Research considers the entire supply-demand chain of the electricity system, including, to various extent, transmission and distribution. Although focus is on the electricity system, research also regards developments in interrelated systems, changes in user demand and fuel markets, and technology assessments of possible CO2 mitigation options.


An essential task within the programme is to develop comprehensive and detailed energy system modeling package. Such tools are necessary to describe in detail and analyse how the complex energy and electricity systems can be transformed to meet emission reduction targets. Yet, the aim of the modelling is not to predict what will be the energy future, but rather to assess the challenges and possibilities regarding fulfilment of the EU goals under different scenarios of the future development of various parameters, such as fuel prices and CO2 emission reduction targets.


The model package includes models for long-term electricity-generation investments, for short-term generation dispatch, for detailed studies on intermittent electricity generation (e.g. wind power), and tools for assessing also other parts of the energy system such as energy use in the building stock. The different models and tools are linked together, either through “hard linking” or “soft linking”, in a way that facilitates the coherent analysis of all parts of the transformation towards a sustainable energy system. The scope of the model package covers the EU-27, Switzerland and Norway, and the time frame is up to 2050. Linked to the model package are the Chalmers databases on fuel resources, electricity generation capacities and energy infrastructure. The databases ensure that the model package includes an accurate and detailed description of the current energy system.