PyPSA-PL used in new Polish study

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Robbie Morrison

Dec 8, 2021, 4:06:56 AM12/8/21
to openmod list, Patryk Berus

Hello all

A press release from Polish NGO Instrat unexpectedly arrived this morning. And on scanning thru the underlying report (Czyżak et al 2021), I see PyPSA-PL was used to generate some of the numerical results, including future HV transmission expansion requirements.  Earlier documents in the series apparently detail the methodology.  In any case, this is the final of three such reports.  Nice to see this kind of application.  Well done TB and team!

with best Robbie


Instrat website

Berus, Patryk (8 December 2021). Failing to switch from coal to wind and solar could cost every Polish family 500 PLN per year by 2030, report — Press release. Warsaw, Poland: Instrat Foundation.  (500 PLN is circa €100).

Czyżak, Paweł, Adrianna Wrona, and Michał Borkowski (December 2021). The missing element: energy security considerations — Instrat Policy Paper 09/2021. Warsaw, Poland: Instrat Foundation. ISBN 978-83-962333-3-2.

Robbie Morrison
Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49.30.612-87617

Dec 8, 2021, 5:03:57 AM12/8/21
to Robbie Morrison, openmod list, Patryk Berus

Thank you Robbie!


Yes, that is correct – this is the last of three reports proposing a comprehensive plan for a coal phase-out in Poland. The trilogy goes as follows:

  • Achieving the goal: - featuring a unit-by-unit phase-out plan.
  • What’s next after coal: - assessing the RES potentials using GLAES and plugging that into the PyPSA optimization model. This is probably the best piece if you’re curious about the methodology, scenarios and the PyPSA work.
  • The missing element: - expanding the discussion onto consumer tariffs, system costs, grid investments. This basically covers some of the its that we didn’t have space for in the previous parts.


The optimization work was based on PyPSA and we are planning to release all the inputs and Python code, just need to clean it up and document.

And yes, as always huge thanks to Tom, Jonas, Lara, David, the PyPSA and GLAES teams.




Kierownik Programu Energia i Klimat, Członek Zarządu

Head of Energy & Climate, Board Member

Fundacja Instrat
ul. Oleandrów 7/16 00-629 Warszawa
+48 512 371 327
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Pamela De la O

Dec 8, 2021, 8:00:06 AM12/8/21
to, Robbie Morrison, openmod list, Patryk Berus
Hello Pawel and all,

Pawel it is a really great and interesting work. I'm doing research on RES subsidies. I would like to know your comments about Figure 12 in the 3rd report. Specifically about Portugal, UK and the Netherlands, how to understand those numbers under the assumption that more subsidies correlate with more RES?

To the openmod group in general:
Something that I'm starting to look into: if the Market model is imposed in today's energy sector subsidies doesn't make sense in the market context. The financing and risk is in part allocated to the consumer which in turn are basically making the for profit companies make a profit. But not as a result of consumption per se but instead by means of taxes and levies. Other company competing in other markets makes a profit directly from selling goods or services not from state subsidies. The idea behind the Market is that competition should be the mechanism regulating which actors remain trading and financially buoyant. Hence, the idea of exogenous incentives defeats the purpose of the Market. Taxpayers' money should not be used to make profit for companies. If taxpayer money is required to increase the RES capacity in the system and to accomplish the energy transition then it seems like at least during the transition a non for-profit approach should be considered. Otherwise seems unfair on the consumer to bear the burden of the for profit market scheme. 

The market works only if its self-sustained otherwise it is not fit for purpose. The clear distinction between when the electricity generation sector model changed to an open market and today's is that back then the sector was mature enough and highly developed to be self sustained whereas now it is far from it.

I'd appreciate your comments on this.


Robbie Morrison

Dec 8, 2021, 8:32:28 AM12/8/21

Hello Pamela

Hard to imagine a larger can of worms than the contents of your posting! :-D

One example.  The German EEG feed‑in‑tariff scheme survived unfair state aid claims because the supporting cashflow came from consumers and not taxes.  More on wikipedia:


Dec 8, 2021, 12:38:41 PM12/8/21
to Robbie Morrison,

Thanks Pamela, if I understand correctly, I think this is a broader discussion on state intervention, not necessarily just in this case. Because to me it doesn’t matter if it’s a tax on the energy tariff, or a state-aid mechanism like RES auctions funded from the state budget via e.g. income taxes, this is in both cases taxpayer money. And I don’t think the energy market (and frankly any market) is really a pure and clean free market as described by neoclassical economics in any countries, and in most energy is highly regulated. So I’d say some of the general macroeconomics and public finance questions apply here.

Whether subsidies are good or bad – the more modern economists would probably vote for a stronger role of the state than a few years back, something that was visible in the scale of COVID recovery funding. So if you read Bregman, Hickel, Ha-joon Chang, they show how even strongly liberal and capitalist governments have supported certain parts of their economy, especially industry in the past, often indirectly, but still to create a competitive advantage against other countries. And I think that is the same case regarding RES – it’s also about building the industry, creating jobs, lowering electricity prices to improve the competitiveness of businesses etc.


But going back to your question on the report – like with any subsidy, it’s hard to measure the exact impact, value added etc. And hard to prove the causality of more subsidies = more RES. Plus subsidies for RES e.g. in Poland are more a risk-management tool than actual profit-making mechanisms. So I don’t have a good answer, and I don’t know if perhaps The Netherlands have the RES financing handled in a way that is indirect and thus misrepresented in the data. It’s actually very difficult to compare the RES-subsidy component of energy tariffs in different countries, because they come in a huge variety of direct and indirect forms. I think that itself is great material for a research paper.


Not sure if this answers your question or is completely off-topic…



Pamela De la O

Dec 9, 2021, 4:36:15 AM12/9/21
to, Robbie Morrison, openmod list
Thanks to both of you for the comments and references.

Indeed the energy transition is an artificially made problematic matter. The never ending patching and amendments to energy regulations can serve as evidence of how far is the market from truly functioning in this sector and helping society at this point in time. Theory suggests that the market drives innovation but it doesn't say which type. Hydrogen the case at hand, despite knowing of it huge potential as an energy carrier and used in practice, for example, space shuttle launching, seemingly innovation was  used to keep it quiet. If instead investment and research, 60 decades ago, would have looked at the commercial application surely the technology would have been at a better technology readiness level today. 

It has been hard to find research papers on this topic. There is vast literature on power systems and markets from a social-welfare maximization perspective but that's not the case in reality. I have found studies on market redesign from very well known folks but again it is patching the existing scheme rather than re-thinking the whole thing. If anyone knows research literature contrasting the current market approach vs. alternatives to bridge the energy transition please let me know.

Best regards,


Dec 20, 2021, 2:40:39 PM12/20/21

Hi All,


Just wanted to let you know that the PyPSA-PL model is now publicly available here: (MIT license). As mentioned earlier in this thread, the methodology and the reasoning behind creating PyPSA-PL is described in three Instrat Policy Papers, the most relevant probably being this one:


To give you a brief summary:

  • PyPSA-PL is a dataset and some Python scripts that are used with the core PyPSA model (as described in the docs, you should also cite the PyPSA team if ever using PyPSA-PL)
  • PyPSA-PL includes a detailed representation of the Polish power sector, with ~90 coal units, ~90 CHP units, a 75-node 400/200kV network (you can also use an extended 200-node network), and of course several types of distributed generators, storage etc.
  • Two scenarios for 2021-2040 (5-year increments) are provided within the dataset – Instrat’s GHG55%-compatible proposal and the government’s PEP2040
  • For each technology, a detailed forecast has been provided based on market trends, project pipelines, connection agreements. The spatial distribution of RES comes from our own assessment prepared with GLAES. This bottom-up approach differentiates PyPSA-PL from typical CEMs, where the yearly technology deployment rates can exceed what is technically, legally or socially viable
  • We’ve also included the transmission grid changes according to the TNDP for 2021-2030, which makes it possible to look at line loading under different scenarios


Of course there are many elements that should be improved, but we are hoping that this project can start the discussion on open modelling in Poland – Poland is very far behind Western Europe in terms of data and modelling transparency…


All the best, Pawel

Robbie Morrison

Dec 20, 2021, 4:05:01 PM12/20/21

Hello Pawel, all

Many thanks for keeping the mailing list informed.  I have been gradually adding these studies to wikipedia:

Very encouraging work too.

with best wishes, Robbie

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