Securing Austria's Electricity Supply in times of Climate Change

  • Ongoing
  • Started: Sep 2020
  • Expected end: Aug 2022


Project description

SECURES offers targeted support to Austrian policymakers by analysing challenges and opportunities for our future electricity system, acting as safeguard for securing a reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient electricity supply in times of climate change

SECURES will provide targeted support to Austria’s policy makers by analysing challenges and opportunities arising for our electricity system in the future, acting as safeguard for securing a reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient electricity supply in times of climate change. Thanks to tailored in-depth analysis and an intense stakeholder dialogue we will help to solve conflicts in policy targets for supply security, decarbonisation needs and our economy, all affected by climate impacts.

The work within SECURES will rest on three key pillars:

  • Analysis of changing patterns in weather, electricity demand and supply driven by climate change and decarbonisation: This pillar serves to undertake a thorough analysis of expected changing patterns in the demand and supply of electricity driven by climate change and the required decarbonisation.

As starting point, we will analyse changing patterns in weather conditions that can be expected in times of climate change (based on ÖKS15 projections for Austria, and the corresponding climate data set for the rest of Europe). This serves for deriving key parameters that determine the potential and operational conditions of the future power plant fleet (incl. temperature, wind speed, precipitation and corresponding hydro flows) in a timely and geographically high resolution. Since Austria’s electricity grid is well interconnected with its neighbours, the overall analysis needs to be done, apart from Austria, also for other European countries in order to incorporate cross-border electricity exchange in a suitable manner.

Apart from changing supply patterns driven by climate change, we will analyse in a detailed manner expected developments and changes in electricity demand, driven by climate change & decarbonisation with a closer look at the increases in sector coupling (e-cooling, e-heating, e-transport, e-industry) in future years.

  • Modelling of Scenarios for securing a reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient transition of Austria’s electricity sector in times of climate change: Our second pillar is modelling and the corresponding analysis of prospective scenarios. Thus,building on the assessment of changing patterns we will undertake a comprehensive, prospective model-based analysis of Austria’s future electricity sector. We will first define and subsequently derive by use of our well-established modelling system a broad set of scenarios for the transition of Austria’s electricity sector in times of climate change. The basket of scenarios will incorporate all identified key options on both supply and demand of electricity including all relevant sectors like electric cooling & heating, electric transport, and decarbonisation of the industry:
    • For the supply side, we will consequently assess distinct technology portfolios and supply patterns (reflecting climate impacts) in line with (2030 and beyond) policy targets (#mission2030, NECP).
    • Concerning demand we will build on the detailed analysis of future demand trends, reflecting decarbonization needs and climate change impacts.
    • Furthermore, we will underlie trends for infrastructure developments (grid development) and incorporate all relevant flexibility options.

The overall assessment will focus on supply security, including an analysis of flexibility needs and corresponding options to meet that demand, and economic efficiency, looking at investments as well as system and policy cost. For the identification of technology portfolios assuring economic efficiency and reliability/supply security, it will be of key relevance to broaden the analytical scope. Assessed scenarios will consequently incorporate all identified changes in weather conditions, and we will take a closer look at extreme circumstances (i.e. expected droughts, floods, dark doldrums). As an outcome we aim for identifying (a subset of) scenarios that allow for securing a reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient transition of Austria’s electricity sector to cope well with all expected changes.

The analysis will build on three energy system models: A flow-based market coupling model for detailed evaluation of all critical aspects of the Austrian electricity system, including sector coupling with the heating & cooling and the transport sector. Complementary, we will use the open-source energy system model Balmorel within this project. This enables us to conduct a sound internal validation, and to provide an open model platform and all relevant data to the public, providing a transparent basis to all interested stakeholders for public discussion and policy support. Additionally, for analyzing the cost impacts of the transition towards renewables, specifically on investments and the need for public policy support, the well established and proven Green-X [1] model will come into play.

  • Stakeholder dialogue & consolidation: The third pillar concerns our way to enhance the decision-making process, facilitating a sound stakeholder dialogue and the provision of targeted support for Austria’s policy makers. Transparency in what we produce and how appears here of key relevance. We will consequently involve Austria’s key stakeholder right from the start, informing them on our approach and incorporating their feedback on the definition of scenarios. Thanks to the being established open model and database platform we will then also openly share our outcomes as well as the way how they are produced. Targeted policy recommendations on the way forward will incorporate stakeholder feedback and serve to facilitate decision making and to stipulate the public discourse. This aims for enabling Austrian policy makers and stakeholders to overcome and solve possible conflicts in policy targets for security of energy supply, the need for decarbonization and the consequences for the Austrian economy, all affected by increasing impacts arising from climate change.

[1] Green-X is a specialized energy system model offering a sound incorporation of policy instruments for renewables, and it has been successfully used for that purpose in a variety of national (ACRP and other) as well as European research projects in the past.


  • Klimatag 2021 ACRP Poster Session (414 KB)

    This poster was presented at the 21. Klimatag 2021 (12-13 April 2021, online). We presented our research activities in the fields of climate and climate change as well as their impacts on and adaptation measures of the Austrian electricity system. The presentation was part of the ACRP quality control of the Climate and Energy Fund of the Austrian Federal Government and was evaluated by the ACRP Steering Committee.

  • Stakeholder Workshop 16 June 2021 (5 MB)

    These slides were presented at the stakeholder workshop (16 June 2021, online). The purpose of the workshop was to present the current status of the project an get feedback from stakeholders for a proper research orientation. Thank you for your participation! For questions, feedback and comments, please contact

Last updated: 18 Jun 2021