Dr. S.J. (Stefan) Pfenninger

Dr. S.J. (Stefan) Pfenninger



Stefan Pfenninger is associate professor of energy systems modelling. His research is on the global transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy system, and on identifying and resolving the technical, economic and policy barriers on the way to that goal. He holds a BSc in environmental science from ETH Zürich and an MSc in environmental technology and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Imperial College London. More information including publications are on his personal website.


Together with my team I investigate three broad areas. First, understanding the variability of renewable energy at spatial scales ranging from individual buildings to entire continents, and at time scales ranging from minutes to decades. Second, designing the energy systems that can deal with and even thrive on this variability, with strategies from continent-spanning electricity grids to district heat networks. Third, trade-offs between sustainable energy and other issues, such as land use, material requirements, and ecosystem impacts. 

Our key methods are computationally and data intensive approaches and mathematical optimisation. In the course of my work I created and lead development of the open-source energy system modelling tool Calliope. I am also the creator and lead developer of the Renewables.ninja platform to simulate wind and solar power plants worldwide. I am a member of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative which promotes openness and transparency in energy system modelling.

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