WHY is a Horizon 2020-funded research project, conducted by a consortium of 5 partners with an expansive network within Europe. Its ambitious approach aims to improve the representation of household electricity demand in Energy System Models (ESMs).

In order to mitigate climate change effects, urgent action is required in all sectors of the economy to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ESMs are tools that help energy analysts, planners and policy makers to rationally describe energy systems and systematically evaluate the impacts of energy policies and climate targets in short- and long-term scenarios.  

On the supply side, ESMs have provided useful results, but on the demand side they lack the degree of accuracy required for proper characterisation of, among others, the use of energy in households. One of the intrinsic difficulties is that energy demand in the residential sector is influenced by a myriad of factors (like the high diversity of dwellings, socio-economic conditions of the social/family units, and behaviour-related consumption patterns) that cannot easily be accounted for in traditional ESMs.

To overcome this challenge, the novel Causal Modelling will be used to quantitatively analyse human decision making in energy consumption and their reactions to interventions (e.g. policy or pricing changes). This will be combined with an innovative FFORMA approach which allows multiple different load profiles to be categorised by a set of vectors describing it. The simulation of the behaviour of the residents is an integral component of simulation models for households and household appliances, allowing to create forecasts for energy consumption due to a use of appliances and devices in the households, considering the options of energy storage and load shifting.

WHY will therefore create innovative methodologies for short- and long-term load forecasting. The WHY modelling will allow us to directly assess the impact of a multitude of policies on the energy system as well as performing both ex-ante and ex-post assessment of policy measures. WHY will therefore contribute to a holistic understanding of household energy consumption and improved demand modelling, demonstrated by five use cases ranging from microgrid size to national, European and international contexts.

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Dr. Andrzej Ceglarz
Director - Energy Systems

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t: +49 30 233211014

Amanda Schibline
Manager - Socio-Energy Systems

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t: +49 30 2332 11022

RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.