Watts Next: Designing Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Power Systems

SWITCH is an investment planning model for power systems with large shares of renewable energy. A rather nerdy model, granted, but useful to identify which generator and transmission projects need to be build over the coming decades in order to transition a cleaner electricity supply system.

Designed principally for electrical engineers and planners. the SWITCH model can explore the cost and feasibility of generation, transmission, and storage options for future electricity systems. The model identifies cost-effective investment decisions for meeting electricity demand, taking into account the existing grid as well as projections of future technological developments, renewable energy potential, fuel costs, and public policy. SWITCH uses time-synchronized load and renewable generation data to evaluate future capacity investments while ensuring that load is met and policy goals are reached at minimum cost. The optimization is formulated as a deterministic linear program, which is solved by standard commercial software.

Developed by The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), University of Berkeley

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