EnergyPLAN is a software program developed for the purpose of conducting energy system analysis. It is mostly utilized in the field of research and study to explore and construct sustainable energy solutions for the future. The tool specifically emphasizes the examination of energy systems that incorporate a significant proportion of renewable energy sources. The development of this particular subject started in 1999 and has served as the foundation for a considerable number of doctoral dissertations as well as several research articles.

 EnergyPLAN is specifically developed to harness the potential benefits derived from including the entirety of the energy system, as shown by the smart energy system idea. EnergyPLAN allows users to adopt a comprehensive perspective by emphasizing the examination of cross-sectoral interactions. Historically, demand sectors that have been distinct from one another, such as buildings, industry, and transport, have been connected to supply technologies through various means, including electricity, gas, and district heating and cooling networks. EnergyPLAN facilitates the examination of the transformation of renewable power into alternative energy carriers, including heat, hydrogen, green gases, and electrofuels. Additionally, it supports the integration of energy efficiency enhancements and energy preservation measures.

The primary objective of the EnergyPLAN model is to assess the energy, environmental, and economic implications associated with different energy plans. The primary aim is to construct a range of alternatives for the purpose of comparing them, rather than constructing a single "optimal" solution based on predetermined parameters. By employing this process, it becomes feasible to present a range of alternatives for the energy system, rather of relying just on a single definitive answer. EnergyPLAN can be categorized as a simulation tool rather than only an optimization tool, despite the presence of optimization elements within its model.

Moreover, the objective of EnergyPLAN is to simulate the ultimate state of the energy system rather than its initial state. The emphasis is directed towards the prospective energy system and its operational dynamics, as opposed to the current energy system. Consequently, EnergyPLAN incorporates a comprehensive modeling approach for prospective technologies, such as biomass gasification and synthetic fuels, while adopting a more generalized modeling approach for current technologies, such as power plants. The emphasis is placed on future-oriented perspectives rather than present-oriented ones.




Scale of implementation

While the main motive for the development of EnergyPLAN was the national-scale energy systems, many other geographical scales have set the frame for EnergyPLAN analyses.



EnergyPLAN is a freeware with a long record of active use. It involves independent add-ons and help tools and it may be executed from other platforms such as Excel or MATLAB, which enables multi-execution.


Phase of solution

EnergyPLAN’s appropriateness is dependent on the individual user’s objectives. EnergyPLAN is particularly suitable if the main objective is to analyse the impact of long-term alternatives, particularly in relation to renewable energy, and where distinct scenarios are analysed without endogenous system optimisation.


Target audience

The target audience can be any user that is involved in sectors such as buildings, industry and transport, as well as plenty of phD fellows and researchers.

Key features-functionality

  1. EnergyPLAN is classified as a deterministic model, in contrast to stochastic models or models that employ Monte Carlo techniques. Regardless of the input, consistent outcomes will always be obtained.
    EnergyPLAN is a simulation model that operates on an hourly basis, in contrast to models that rely on aggregated annual demands and output. As a result, the model has the capability to assess the impact of varying renewable energy sources (RES) on the overall system, while also considering the weekly and seasonal variations in electricity and heat needs, as well as the water intakes to big hydropower systems.

  2. EnergyPLAN focuses on optimizing the operational aspects of a specific system, in contrast to other models that prioritize optimizing investments within the system. However, via the examination of various systems (investments), the model may be employed to ascertain viable investment opportunities.
    EnergyPLAN offers a range of regulatory solutions for a particular system, rather than including a specific institutional structure into its models.

  3. EnergyPLAN does an analysis of a single year, with each step representing a one-hour interval, in contrast to scenario models which examine many years. Nevertheless, it is possible to amalgamate many assessments, each spanning a duration of one year, into various scenarios.

  4. EnergyPLAN conducts comprehensive hourly evaluations of the integrated smart energy system, encompassing district heating and cooling, electricity, and gas grids and infrastructures. This approach distinguishes EnergyPLAN from models that just concentrate on certain sectors, such as the power sector.

References & Sources for Further Reading