Sustainable Energy Systems

The Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) research group provides knowledge and develop tools to support the optimal planning and operation of energy systems,
with a specific focus on renewable energy, smart transmission and distribution grids, and smart sustainable buildings.


Our main expertise fields are the following:

  • Optimisation methods and tools for power systems planning and operation, enabling massive penetration of renewable generation at least cost and without compromising reliability.
  • Development of models and simulation tools (e.g. for model-based grid control measures to integrate renewable energy sources).
  • Development and simulation-based test of local market settings and new business models for demand-side flexibility, local energy exchange, energy storage operation or virtual power plants.
  • Model-based as well as data-driven algorithms for forecasting applications or e.g. to valorise smart meter data.
  • Methods and tools for optimal sizing of PV and energy storage as well as energy management system for smart sustainable buildings.

We profit also from its integration in an environmental research department, which grants access to competences and resources in the field of sustainability assessment.


The main research challenges to future energy systems, and power systems in particular, stem from the fast transition towards increasingly decentralised renewable production and electrification of the mobility and heat sectors. Accordingly, specific major threats to reliable operation arise from the fluctuating production of most renewable energy sources, the less predictable, sharp peak power demand, and the huge number of distributed energy resources.

These threats generate research challenges such as:

  • how to manage the paramount energy system operation complexity in integrating distributed energy resources.
  • how to unlock, as well as optimally make use and share, system flexibility between distribution and transmission system operators for reliable operation.
  • how to address uncertainty in planning and operation of power systems.
  • how to develop scalable methods for multi time-step optimal control of power systems.

Further opportunities in managing energy systems are enabled by digitalisation, availability of huge amounts of data and the largely increased interconnectivity of devices, grid components and generation units.


  • Power system planning and operation, at both transmission and distribution layers, under massive penetration of mostly decentralised renewable energy sources.
  • Modelling of renewable energy systems and energy infrastructure for the optimised integration of fluctuating renewables.
  • Short-term, regionalised forecasting of photovoltaic power production.
  • Local (energy and) flexibility markets for optimised prosumer integration and provision of grid services.
  • Energy management in smart sustainable buildings.

Main assets

  • Enabling flexibility in future power grids​ (FlexiGrid)
  • Advanced tools towards cost-efficient decarbonisation of future reliable energy systems (ATTEST)
  • Combined approach for the spatial highly resolved, intra-day PV forecasting for smart distribution grid operation (Combi-Cast)
  • Energy management system for smart sustainable buildings: planning, operation and optimal integration in the smart energy (gENESiS)
  • Machine learning-based enhancements of security-constrained optimal power flow computations (ML4SCOPF)


  • A Tractable Approximation Approach to Deal with the Binary Nature of Shiftable Loads in Multi-Period Optimal Power Flow, II Avramidis, F Capitanescu, G Deconinck, 2020 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference (TPEC), 1-6
  • An Efficient Mixed-Integer Linear Programming Model for Optimal Sizing of Battery Energy Storage in Smart Sustainable Buildings, M Mehrtash, F Capitanescu, PK Heiselberg, 2020 IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference (TPEC), 1-6
  • Short-term and regionalized photovoltaic power forecasting, enhanced by reference systems, on the example of Luxembourg, D. Koster, F. Minette, C. Braun, O. O'Nagy; Renewable Energy; Volume 132; 2019; Pages 455-470.
  • TSO–DSO interaction: Active distribution network power chart for TSO ancillary services provision, F. Capitanescu, Electric Power Systems Research 163, pp. 226-230, 2018. 
  • Challenges Ahead Risk‐Based AC Optimal Power Flow Under Uncertainty for Smart Sustainable Power Systems, F. Capitanescu, chapter in the book "Dynamic Vulnerability Assessment and Intelligent Control: For Sustainable Power Systems", pp. 149-176, Wiley & Sons, 2018. 
  • AC OPF-based Methodology for Exploiting Flexibility Provision at TSO/DSO Interface via OLTC-Controlled Demand Reduction, F. Capitanescu, PSCC conference, Dublin (Ireland), June 2018. 
  • Life Cycle Assessment of biogas production by monofermentation of energy crops and injection into the natural gas grid, C. Jury, E. Benetto, D. Koster, B. Schmitt, J. Welfring; Biomass and Bioenergy; Volume 34; Issue 1; 2010; Pages 54-66.


Research domains
  • Environment

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Dr-Ing. Enrico BENETTO
Dr-Ing. Enrico BENETTO
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