Satellite image europe by night.

Since 2002 the Institute of electricity economics and energy innovation has been working on a realistic (real economy, nominal economy and organizational architecture) model of the European electricity economy. Investing about 50 man-years from different disciplines like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, plant engineering, business administration, economics, operations research, computer science and law made the development of this comprehensive model of the European electricity economy possible.

The European energy and electricity economy faces huge challenges: the ongoing climate change and the increasing dependency on energy imports call for concrete counter-steering strategies. Numerous measures have already been implemented in the current energy strategy of the European Union. Since the electricity sector is influenced by certain peculiarities (such as non-storability, capital intensity, longevity), the effects of the measures mentioned above need to be investigated.

Model Description

The simulation model ATLANTIS comprises the entire electricity economy of the ENTSO-E area and includes the relevant systemic connections. The most important elements of the part dealing with the real economy are the power plant park, the superior European transmission network (400/220-kV-level), as well as the regionalised demand of the customers.

Power grid and power plants of Europe on a map.
© IEE, TU Graz
Regarding the nominal economic part of the model, relevant European electricity utilities are integrated, including the balance sheets and profit and loss statements. All of the relevant information has been gathered through detailed investigations and has been integrated in the database, which is the core element of the model when it comes to the management of the data as well as providing the calculation results. The simulation period extends from 2006 as a base year to 2050. At the moment the following elements are included in the model:
  • 7.350 lines/transformers
  • 4.000 nodes
  • 24.400 power plants (27 different types)
The power plants comprise classical fossil production facilities as well as power plants based on renewable energy.
Flowchart of the ATLANTIS model.
© IEE, TU Graz

Possible Applications

ATLANTIS permits scientific investigations like:

  • Development of regional electricity prices
  • Quantification of the economical benefit of constructing high-voltage lines and power plants
  • Needs in terms of infrastructure development
  • Scenario analysis for the integration of renewable energies
  • Systemic marginal costs of renewable energies
  • Stress tests for the simulation of energy shortages
  • Effects of power demand side management (PDSM)
  • Pre-analysis of different regulatory approaches and market organisations (e.g. new European directives, CO2-regulations...)
  • And many more

The simulation model ATLANTIS has been developed in order to state scientifically sound conclusions based on scenario-analysis. These insights are able to contribute to the prosperous development of the European energy and electricity economy.


Institute of Electricity Economics and Energy Innovation
Inffeldgasse 18
8010 Graz

Tel.: +43 316 873 7901
Fax: +43 316 873 7910