ETEM : a tool for evaluation of energy & environment policy at a regional/urban level

ETEM-SG, the most recent avatar of ETEM adapted to the representation of smart grids in regional energy systems (Presentation below).

ETEM is a bottom-up model that finds optimal energy and technology options at a regional or city level. The model  finds an energy policy with minimal cost, investing in new equipment (new technologies), developing production capacity (installed technology) and proposing feasible import/export of primary energy. The model contributes to the evaluation of an energy and environment policy and defines emissions due to the energy system which satisfy global environmental constraints.

In 2016, ETEM-SC (for Smart City) has been used to analyse the drive toward sustainability of the Qatar energy system. Project supported by QNRF.)

The Tornado tower, where the project took place.


Leman region

Midi-Pyrénées (MIP) region

Three regions that have been the object of an ETEM model development, recently.



Bern Kanton

Three other regions for which ETEM (or its precursor MARKAL-LITE) models where developed.


A recent publication describing an application of ETEM for the Leman region in Switzerland can be found here :

F. Babonneau, A. Haurie, G. Tarel and J. Thénié, Assessing the Future of Renewable and Smart Grid Technologies in Regional Energy Systems, Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 148(2):229-273, 2012.


ETEM proposes a coherent  and dynamically consistent optimisation of the energy system.

  An example of a simplified Reference Energy System.

ETEM gives une représentation of a reference energy system (RES), with primary, secondary, final and useful energy flows..

ETEM is driven by useful energy demands. The evolution of useful demands is obtained through the use of economic, demographic, technological drivers. These demands can also be obtained from a macro-economic general equilibrium model. The model can handle price elasicities for useful demands.

  • ETEM is a technology rich model.
  • A geographic  information system (GIS) can be used to provide location based information on demands and technologies (here we see the wind mill development areas and the hydro power units, in MIP region of France.



ETEM optimises energy options

ETEM and its precursor MARKAL-LITE are inspired from MARKAL/TIMES (ETSAP) or MESSAGE (IIASA et AIEA) systems analysis models. ETEM precedes OSeMOSYS in offering an "Open-source" solution for integrated energy modelling. ETEM takes into account the effects of demand response made possible by the smart grid developments.

ETEM can be used to produce a dynamic emission map.

ETEM uses a detailed representation (location of installed capacities) of the energy system of a région or urban community. The RES shows primary energy (gas, hydro, wood, coal, geothermal, solar, wind, imports etc.), final energy (electricity, delivered gas, fuels, heat, hot water, etc.) and useful energy (energy services like e,g. transport, HWAC, high temperature heat,etc).  A whole ensemble of technologies (thermal units, hydro , solar PV, wind mills, etc.) transforn and deliver final energy to stisfy through the use of demand devices a set of useful demands. By the same token, ETEM computes an emission map for major atmospheric pollutantsand greenhopuse gases.

ETEM, with the oracle based optimisation engine OBOE, can undertake a dialogue with other simulation models, like air quality models or traffic equilibrium models for street congestion.

For more information please refer to :

  • Carlson D., Haurie A., J.-P. Vial and Zachary D.S., Large scale convex optimization methods for air quality policy, Automatica, pp. 385–395, January 2004.
  • Haurie A., J. Kübler, A. Clappier and H. vanden Bergh , A  Metamodeling Approach for Integrated Assessment of Air Quality Policies, Environmental Modeling and Assessment, Vol.9, pp. 1-12, 2003.

see also

P. Caratti, A. Haurie, D. Pinelli, D.S. Zachary, Exploring the Fuel Cell Car Future: an Integrated Energy Model at the City Level, in L. J. Sucharov, and C. A. Brebbia eds., Urban Transport IX, Proceedings Urban Transport 2003, Ninth International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment in the 21st Century, 10 - 12 March 2003 Crete, Greece, WIT Press, Southampton, 2003,PDF.

ETEM takes into account major uncertainties

ETEM can deal with uncertainty characterizin some input data, like e.g. the price of imported energy, the efficiency and intermittency of new technologies, the investment cost, the penetration speed and the date of availability of new technologies, etc. ETEM proposes risk hedging decisions and robust planning. Pour ce faire, ETEM uses the tool DET2STO which generates automatically the extensive form of a stochastic programme. ETEM implements also robust optimization techniques.

For more d'information we refer to :

  • Fragnière E. and Haurie A., A stochastic programming model for energy/environment choices under uncertainty, Int. J. Environment and Pollution, Vol. 6, Nos. 4-6, pp.587-603, 1996.
  • J. Thénié, J.-Ph. Vial, Ch. van Delft, Automatic formulation of stochastic programs via an algebraic modeling language,Computational Management Science, 4(1), p.17-40, 2007.

ETEM uses techniques and méthods of robust optimisation to deal with uncertainty which are not amenable to probability analysis.

For more information see :

Babonneau F., Vial J.-P., and Apparigliato R., Robust optimization for environmental and energy planning. In J.A. Filar and A. Haurie, editors, Handbook on "Uncertainty and Environmental Decision Making", International Series in Operations Research and Management Science, pages 79-126. Springer Verlag, 2010.

ETEM is an open-source software

ETEM builds a linear programme for both the deterministic and stochastic programming modes.  ETEM is open-source. It is written in a free modelling language (GMPL) and can be linked with a free optimizer (GLPSOL) ETEM can easily be adapted or integrated to specific applications, provided that the problem can be solved as an LP.

Links with passed EU-Projects

ETEM is the result of many years of development, some of them being supported by EU R&D programmes :


If you understand French:

Vous pouvez consulter la présentation d'une modélisation bottom-up et stochastique en région urbaine qui a été faite lors de la 8ème journée Transport de l'ENPC en 2006 : document PDF ou vidéo FLASH.

Une présentation audio-visuelle du mode opératoire pour développer une modélisation ETEM-AR (projet GICC 2012) pour une région est accessible en cliquant ici. Présentation.

If you want more information about ETEM, please contact us or visit the dedicated website.