Hydrogen fuel cells in shipping

It’s necessary to ban the use of fossil fuels to complete the green transition in shipping. To put it short, this is the main finding of our research study: “Hydrogen fuel cells in shipping: A policy case study of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden”. The study resulted from a collaboration with colleagues in Iceland. It was published in the leading journal Marine Policy (May 2024).

The study aims to identify the policy instruments needed to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen fuel cells for the shipping industries in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Hydrogen fuel cells are promising for reducing emissions from shipping. However, their adoption is limited by high costs, lack of regulations, and lack of infrastructure. This is why there is a need for policies that spur investments in hydrogen fuel cells.

The three policy packages

Together with our fellow researchers, we tested three policy packages with different degrees of ambition (low, medium, and high). Our findings indicated that the proposed taxes on CO2 emissions and fossil fuels can help drive the transition away from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the complete transition requires a ban on the use of fossil fuels.

The three policy packages were formulated based on discussions during workshops with key stakeholders from Nordic Shipping. During the workshops, we also learned that the participants are paying high attention to a “chicken and egg” paradox: Without the demand for green hydrogen, no supply, and vice versa. This has not been reflected in previous studies.

Correspondingly, a coordinated regional approach and cross-sector and cross-industry collaboration are needed. Otherwise, we cannot overcome the paradox and help balance the supply and demand for Nordic shipping


Icon of modelling


We used the TIMES-NEU model, an economic model generator for energy systems, to evaluate the three different policy packages. EML has developed the TIMES-NEU model.

Icon of scenario analysis


Estimated total fuel consumption in PJ/year; CO2 emissions by fuel in thousand tons of CO2 emissions/year; revenue from the tax on fossil fuels in million Euros/year; ferry segment fuel consumption in PJ/year.


The main finding was that policies are needed to spur investments. Meanwhile, it’s necessary to ban fossil fuels to complete the green transition of shipping.

Other scenarios included in the study show estimated CAPEX and OPEX in million Euros/year, estimated CAPEX and OPEX for the ferry segment in million, and estimated CAPEX and OPEX of the mandate of ferries to use hydrogen in comparison to the policy packages in million Euros/year.

The research study is part of the HOPE Project: The authors of the article are:
Mauricio Latapí, Brynhildur DavidsdottirDavid Cook, Lara Johannsdottir, MBA, Ph.D., Andrea Marin Radoszynski, and Kenneth Karlsson.

We are grateful for the financial support towards the HOPE project provided by the following organizations: the Nordic Energy Research, the Norwegian Research Council, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Icelandic Centre for Research, Business Finland, the Danish Energy Agency, Stena Rederi AB, and PowerCell Sweden AB.

Newsletter winter 2023 – An inspiring visit to NY

During the past half year we have developed new features for the TIMES model framework, dived into PtX and biogas, and begun the development of a new clean model structure.

Inspired by community

The ETSAP meetup for TIMES-modellers in New York was a great inspiration. During the conference we learn of a UN-database that contains data for all countries of the world. So our new dream is to use the database to automate the model creation and build TIMES-models for all countries in the world.

Read more about the vision in the full newsletter below.

Maabjerg Bioenergy in Holstebro, Denmark.
New biogas-module

Biogas will play an increasing role in the Danish energy system. Therefore we have developed a new biogas module for the Danish Energy Agency, to ensure a detailed representation of biogas in their future mode work.

Read more about the new biogas module right here.

flows of ptx-fules

To analyse the demand and supply of green hydrogen and other synthetic fuels, we have developed a new model of Northern Europe.

The model is a combined TIMES-model that includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Poland. The model also includes external trade-links to UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

We hope to publish some results from the analysis soon.

If you want to read the full newsletter, you can find it here:

The future of district heating

What will the future of district heating look like when wind and solar dominate the electricity market as is expected within the coming decade?

In this analysis for Dansk Fjernvarme, Energy Modelling Lab has dived into the details of the future of district heating in Denmark. We have explored where the heat will come from, and whether our energy system will get too vulnerable without the thermal powerplants.

Our results show, that the thermal power and district heating plants will close down faster than projected by the Danish Energy Agency.

Key findings

In the future district heating will primarily come from large-scale heat pumps and waste heat from PtX plants and data centers.

The thermal power and heat plants are being phased out faster than the Danish Energy Agency projects.

An energy system with a low diversity comes with an increased risk of failure.

Read the full analysis here (in Danish):

Building DK-BioRes

Energy Modelling Lab has updated the Danish TIMES model (TIMES-DK) to include 23 individual district heating areas and four aggregated areas.

Energy Modelling Lab has investigated the consequences of an upper limit in biomass used for power and heat and an upper limit in the number of PtX plants.

All results and scenarios are collected in the report above.

Duration: 2022

EML TeamMikkel Bosack Simonsen, Ida Græsted Jensen, Alexandra O’Sullivan Freltoft and Kenneth Karlsson

Client: Dansk Fjernvarme

Budget: DKK 350,000

Reference: Thorbjørn Nejsum, Head of Department, Dansk Fjernvarme


IEA-ETSAP Newsletter Spring 2022

In this ETSAP Newsletter Spring 2022, we share the activities that we have carried out as an active member of the modelling community. As part of the ETSAP community, Energy Modelling Lab is developing the TIMES model framework, using it for a range of projects, and sharing our experiences within the network.


Energy Modelling Lab has worked on models for countries around the world.

In the Nordic countries, we have both investigated paths to a climate-neutral future and dived into the shipping industry, to investigate which fuels will power the future sea transport.

In Vietnam, we have supported the local modelling team, and in Azerbaijan, we have built a full-country model from scratch, facilitated workshops with the key stakeholders with the key stakeholder in energy planning in the country, and trained local modelers to run the model.

New features in TIMES-DK

Inspired by the discussions at the ETSAP meeting in Oslo 2021, we have added energy storage in TIMES-DK.

Additionally, we have added different ancillary services to the model, such as balancing the electricity grid when the demand is greater than the supply.

Giving back to the community

We are always happy to participate in the ETSAP-community activities. After a long period of webinars, it was a relief to join the biannual ETSAP meeting in Oslo in November 2021.

Over the past year, we have also expanded the modelling community by training two new employees in the TIMES-model framework. Other than that we have supported a bachelor student from the University of Southern Denmark in a project on energy islands, three students from the Technical University of Denmark in a project on German hydrogen demand, and a Swedish PhD student on a new model of Gothenburg.

The community is growing, one modeler at a time.

If you want to read the full newsletter, you can find it here:

Net zero by 2050 in Vietnam

The Vietnamese economy is growing, and so is the demand for energy. As the country moves forward new investments in clean energy and infrastructure are highly needed. Energy Modelling Lab has developed scenarios to reach the target of net zero by 2050 in Vietnam.

The power generation and storage capacity should be 30 times higher than the current capacity.

Electricity should primarily come from solar power combined with batteries.

Power transmission should be increased by 40% compared to the present capacity.

The Vietnamese economy and energy consumption is growing.

Download the Energy Outlook Report 2021 for Vietnam

The report is written by the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority in Vietnam (EREA) along with the Danish Energy Agency. Energy Modelling Lab has contributed to both the analysis and the report.

Duration: 2020 – 2022

EML Team: Ida Græsted Jensen, Till ben Brahim and Kenneth Karlsson

Client: This project is part of the Framework contracts with Global Cooperation at the Danish Energy Agency

Budget: DKK 410,373

Reference: Ole Emmik Søresen, Head of Divison Corporation the Danish Energy Agency

Collaborators: Ea Energy Analyses, Institute of Energy, E4SMA, Aarhus University

Model: TIMES

The role of fossil gas in the Nordics

We participated in a research project exploring the role of fossil gas in the Nordics. The challenge of reducing the dependency on fossil gas differs between the Nordic countries. Therefore each country has its own set of challenges to solve.

Norway exports while Sweden and Finland import gas

Denmark is connected to central Europe and receives the gas mix in the grid from both Russia and Norway. (The Danish gas production is temporarily low due to maintenance of the Tyra Field).

Finland gets gas directly from Russia and through Estonia.

Norway exports a large amount of gas mainly to central Europe and partly to the Danish grid.

Sweden gets gas from the European grid through Denmark.

The import and export of fossil gas in the Nordic countries (2020). Source: Eurostat

Fossil gas use differs between the nordic countries

In Denmark around 350,000 buildings are heated by gas, and switching to district heating or heat pumps is a major task in the years to come.

Finland primarily uses gas for electricity and heat production and industry, especially pulp and paper and iron, and steel production consumes large amounts of gas. Switching to green energy sources in these processes is the primary task for Finland.

Norway does not have a high domestic gas use in the society as such, but fossil fuel extraction uses a large amount of gas today. Electrification of energy production can reduce fossil gas consumption substantially.

Sweden mainly uses gas for non-energy purposes such as fertilizer and plastics, but also for process heat in iron and steel production, chemical industry, and pulp and paper production.

The use of fossil gas differs between the Nordic countries. Source: Eurostat

If you want to dive into more details on the role of fossil gas in the Nordic countries, you can find the full analysis here. The analysis is made in collaboration with IVL and Energiforsk.

Duration: 2022

EML team: Kenneth Karlsson

Climate neutral agriculture in Denmark

The Danish agricultural sector is facing the green transition and many ideas have been proposed to reach climate-neutral agriculture in Denmark by 2050. In this brief, we suggest two pathways to climate neutrality to follow the general goals of a 70% reduction in 2030 and a 100% reduction in 2050.

70% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030

100% greenhouse gas neutral by 2050

No animal feed import by 2050

Technology-optimistic or technology-independent

The first scenario is a technology-optimistic scenario, while the second scenario to a larger extent can reach the goals without technological development. In both scenarios, a large increase in the forest areas is necessary such that the forest area in 2050 is approximately double the area of today.

In the technology-optimistic scenario, the amount of farm animals can be kept at the same level as today because the biogas and pyrolysis plants can reduce part of the emissions and the forests compensate for the rest of the emissions. In the technology-independent scenario, it is necessary to reduce the amount of farm animals to reach the climate targets.

Key figures

1.000.000 ha, roughly 23% of the Danish land mass, must be covered in forest by 2050.

The forestation should happen sooner rather than later so 160.000 – 200.000 ha should be converted into forest already by 2030.

100.000 ha of carbon-rich lowland soil should be converted into natural areas by 2030.

All 178.700 ha low land soil must be converted into nature by 2050.

In a technology-optimistic scenario, with a sharp increase in forest area, animal production can remain the same size as today.

In a technology-independent scenario a 15% reduction in animal production by 2030, and a 30% reduction in 2050 relative to today is necessary.

If the steep forest area does not happen, a further reduction in animal production is necessary.

Read the full analysis

The model is open-sourced

Make scenarios yourself. Download the full model used for the brief from our GitHub repository.

Duration: 2021

EML-Team: Kenneth Karlsson and Ida Græsted

Reducing air pollution saves billions of kroner

When discussing how expensive the green transition becomes for the Danish society, it is important to consider more aspects than only the investments needed.

Our results show that when looking solely on the saved health costs from the reduction in air pollution, the society can save 10 to 20 billion Danish kroner per year.

Several Danish studies estimates the cost of the transition to be approximately 13 to 26 billion Danish kroner a year from 2025 to the year when the transition is complete. These costs often do not include the savings for the society in terms of, e.g., less air pollution.

Read the full analysis (Danish):

EML Team: Kenneth Karlsson and Ida Græsted

IEA ETSAP Newsletter 2021

EML activities in the IEA ETSAP community

Time frame: Late 2019 to spring 2021

EML: Energy Modelling Lab ApS – energymodellinglab.com

IEA (Interational Energy Agency) Technology Collaboration Programme ETSAP (Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program) – iea-etsap.org

EML is an active member of the ETSAP community. EML has and continues to contribute to the ETSAP community in 2020 and 2021. We continue the Danish collaboration and participation at the IEA-ETSAP, Annex X to XIV under the new Annex XV. Our partners and consultants are actively developing TIMES models in several projects, regularly attend ETSAP’s biannual workshops and webinars, took VEDA-TIMES trainings, were and will continue teaching energy systems analysis courses at post-graduate level by deploying the TIMES framework, develop auxiliary tools to improve pre- and post processing tasks and succefully migrated from VEDA1 to VEDA2 during ongoing projects.


NCES2020 Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios 2020ON-TIMES2020

Energiforsk, NMBU, EA, VTT, IVLThe work builds on the NETP projects by complementing the cost-effective pathways with deeper analysis of uncertainty and alternative socio-technical framework conditions. This includes policy, technology shifts, economic outlook, developments in other countries and other societal changes that have an impact on the Nordic region – DK, FI ,IS ,NO and SE.nces2020.tokni.com – under construction!
UEOR2021 Energy Outlook Report for UkrainTIMES-UA2019

UEDC, MoE, DEA, EAThis project develops an independent study of the Ukrainian energy system, which analyses development scenarios for input to national energy strategy documents and provides policy recommendations to achieve national energy and climate goals. Furthermore, the modelling results of this project can also be used to contribute to the National Energy and Climate Change Plan for the period 2021-2030 (NECP).timesukraine.tokni.com
VEOR2021 Vietnam Energy Outlook Report 2021TIMES-Vietnam2021

EREA, DEAThe objective of the project is that Vietnam’s energy system becomes more sustainable through implementation of cost-optimized policy and planning by assisting MOIT and EREA to commission, develop, and analyse comprehensive long-term energy scenarios. 
LTES-AZ Long-term Energy Strategy for AzerbaijanTIMES-AZ (to be dev.)2021

MoE, EQUINOCCIO, Ramboll, NIRASThis technical assistance tackles the needs of Azerbaijan of reviewing and updating the Long-Term Energy Strategy (LTES) in the light of the recent situation in AZ. Another important focus in this technical assistance is to build up capacity in Azerbaijan to continue the work with LTES and in general to work with energy system analysis as a method for planning future investments and points of focus. 


Biannual workshops

The biannual workshops focus on the practice of modelling and use of ETSAP tools e.g. MARKAL/TIMES modelling frameworks, participation in training activities and collaboration in projects related to the improvement of ETSAP tools. In general, the contribution to these workshops shall be based on current and future projects, particular within EU, Nordic and Danish research programs – by involving PhD students from Danish universities.

Our director and partners participated in several IEA-ETSAP semi-annual meetings over last years:

For all past and coming workshops please see here.


Members of EML attended several ETSAP webinars:

  • 2020-11-26: How to build a TIMES model from scratch
  • 2020-12-10: Modelling clean energy transitions: approaches and tools for the World Energy Outlook and the Energy Technology Perspectives
  • 2021-01-21: Developing and using TIMES models with git, GitHub and VEDA
  • 2021-02-23: ETSAP webinar: High temporal and spatial resolution modelling in TIMES models
  • 2021-03-30: Stochastic Modelling of VRES in TIMES and Modelling high VRES with hourly TS resolution, unit commitment, dispatch and capacity expansion in TIMES


Ida participated in the 3 days ETSAP VEDA-Times web training.

For future trainings please see here.


EML is teaching energy system modelling on the basis of the TIMES modelling framework. In the current term Mikkel and Kenneth are offering the course TIMES-DK modelling to graduate students at SDU. The duration is approx. 20 weeks from February to June 2021.


The students are given insights into the TIMES modelling framework and will deploy the Danish model TIMES-DK to assess the Danish energy systems within the scope of their individual assignments.


The course aims to provide the students with knowledge and abilities to work in the TIMES-framework, which includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Sector coupling of the full energy system
  • Time aspect in the making of energy system assessment
  • Resources barriers such as bioenergy, wind, solar and fossil potentials
  • Carbon budgets and national GHG targets


Weekly lectures combined with practical assignments and project work in groups. Results of case works are an integrated part of the teaching and will be presented and evaluated during the course.

Auxilliary tools

At EML we develop several auxiliary tools. Currently, we work on two tools, one to include biomass potentials for energy use in our analysis and the other to seamlessly aggregate and transmit data from a VEDA batch export excel file to our websites hosted by Tokni:

  • A biomass model – for more information contact Ida
  • Veda to TOKNI – for more information contact Till

VEDA migration

Within the Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios (NCES2020) project EML migrated the development of the open source Nordic TIMES model (ON-TIMES) from VEDA1 to VEDA2. It includes all of the 5 nordic countries, i.e. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and serves the purpose of informing decision-makers and support the common Nordic commitment to carbon neutrality through strong, collaborative Nordic research and analysis.

Download a copy