PhD scholarship in Market Design and Sector Coupling for Multi-Carrier Integrated Energy Systems

mandag 04 maj 20

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Frist 5. juni 2020
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The Centre for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) invites applications for a 3-year PhD position in “market design and sector coupling for multi-carrier integrated energy systems”. The PhD project is funded by DTU joint alliance research program, aiming at strengthening the research collaborations with alliance universities. This specific project targets a research collaboration between DTU and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The successful applicant will be placed at DTU Electrical Engineering Department for two years, and as a visiting guest PhD student, will stay at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management of NTNU for one year.

The transition to more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy systems including electricity, heating and natural gas imposes significant changes in their planning and operation. As per the European Commission’s plan, in the long term, new generation technologies must be developed through breakthroughs in research if we are to meet the greater ambition of reducing the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. These changes are driven by an increased electrification in each sector, thus defining the electric grid as the backbone of all future energy sectors. Traditionally, energy sectors have been planned and operated independently, leading to suboptimal operation in terms of system efficiency. The challenges of “sector coupling” to realize a fully integrated, optimal energy system can be seen through the prism of energy vectors (e.g., electricity, heating, natural gas, and hydrogen), energy flexibility (to be harvested from coupling sectors such as heating with electricity), and time frame (long-term planning, operational planning and real-time control). The flexibility potential at the interface of different energy sectors enables integrating additional clean renewable energy sources. To unlock such potential, it is important to design proper coordination schemes among the different sectors at different spatiotemporal scales while respecting the current policy regulations. In particular, energy sectors can be coordinated through “market-based” mechanisms, ranging from less disruptive to fully disruptive solutions. The less disruptive solutions entail defining new market products, prescribing new bidding formats, or introducing new market players which act as coordinators at the interface of different energy sectors. In contrast, fully disruptive solutions are based on re-designing the energy markets, e.g., by designing a joint market for all energy carriers, which can be also viewed as an ideal benchmark for assessing the performance of less disruptive solutions. The idea of this project is to develop rigorous optimization and game-theoretic tools for the analysis of the aforementioned market-based solutions, and to assess their social and individual implications, as well as their success, in unlocking the flexibility at the interface of energy sectors. In this project, the concepts of an integrated energy market will be developed with the aim of ensuring secure, sustainable, and affordable energy systems with high penetration of renewable energy sources.

Responsibilities and tasks
This PhD project will focus on development and analysis of new market mechanisms for multi-carrier integrated energy systems. The overall objective of this project is to design a multi-carrier market framework and define structured market products for various energy networks and participants therein, which enables them to operate in an efficient manner, maximizing social welfare and cost-efficiency of the integrated system. In particular, the details of this project are:

  • To explore and identify the dynamics between energy carriers at different temporal (e.g. week-ahead, day-ahead, hourly, sub-hourly) and geographical (e.g. neighborhood, district, province, country) levels,
  • To design a multi-carrier integrated energy market, while assessing the interactions and alignment of this market with existing energy markets (heat, gas and electricity),
  • To verify the performance of market design using an ideal benchmark for a futuristic multi-energy market structure, wherein all energy markets are fully integrated.
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. 

A successful candidate will have a strong background in most of the following points:
  • Fundamental knowledge of power and energy system operation and renewable integration
  • Fundamental knowledge of power system economics and energy markets
  • Fundamental knowledge of convex optimization
  • Knowledge of game-theoretic complementarity modeling and equilibrium analysis
  • Knowledge of uncertainty modeling techniques, ranging from stochastic programming to chance-constrained programming and robust optimization
  • Knowledge of programming tools such as Julia, Python, GAMS, etc
  • Excellent use of the English language
  • Ability to present results in technical reports, and prepare scientific papers for publication in international journals
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Jalal Kazempour (DTU), Professor Ruud Egging (NTNU), Professor Pierre Pinson (DTU) and Associate Professor Spyros Chatzivasileiadis (DTU). 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about
career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Jalal Kazempour,

You can read more about DTU Electro at and CEE at

Please submit your online application no later than 5 June 2020 (23:59 local time)
Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Contact details of two individuals that can provide a letter of reference
  • A research statement (maximum two pages). Through the research statement, the applicant has the chance to present a relevant research problem that interests her/him and proposes how it might be investigated. The research problem should be related to the topic of the advertised PhD position, and should preferably include introduction, method and contribution. Applications without a research statement may not be considered.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and participate in joint international programmes. We conduct state-of-the-art research within antenna and microwave technology, robot technology, power and physical electronics, acoustic environment, electro-acoustics, electric power and energy. Our department has more than 200 members of staff.

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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.