I am an interdisciplinary researcher specialising in the modelling of the transition of energy systems towards net-zero emissions under changing socioeconomic and hydroclimatic conditions, considering multiple dimensions of the sustainable development goals. My research line spans 3 interconnected areas. 

1)      Integrated assessment of synergies and tradeoffs of the energy transition with other SDGs or environmental objectives. Because of cross-sectoral or cross-system interdependencies, decarbonisation pathways in the energy system can lead to positive or negative consequences for other SDGs and vice versa. For instance, (cooling) water demand of nuclear and hydropower generation can intensify water stress. Energy efficiency measures save combustible fuel use and lead to health co-benefits. To capture the resulting synergies and tradeoffs, I follow a nexus framework, e.g., water-energy-land nexus and energy-pollution-health nexus.

2)      Integrating climate change impacts into the development of decarbonisation pathways to bridge mitigation and adaption strategies. The energy system inevitably becomes increasingly dependent on weather, due to electrification and the transition towards renewables (e.g., wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy). Ongoing climate change not only directly affects the patterns of weather-dependent energy supply and demand in terms of statistical mean and interannual variability, but it also alters the frequency, intensity, duration, and spatial extent of hydroclimatic extreme events (e.g., droughts, heatwaves, storms and dunkelflautes). In particular, hydroclimatic extreme events can disrupt energy supply, damage energy infrastructure and add stress to the interdependencies between energy, water and land systems. Therefore, the energy system must be robust against the impacts of changing climate conditions. I include spatiotemporal explicit hydroclimatic data in energy modelling to capture energy-related climate impacts when developing decarbonisation pathways. This is complemented by state-of-the-art techniques borrowed from other disciplines including extreme value analysis, copula (statistics), portfolio theory (quantitative risk management) and the fraction of attributable risk (epidemiology) to identify hotspots, mitigate impacts and attribute damages to climate change of hydroclimatic extreme events.

3)      Cross-scale model-based scenario analysis of energy system decarbonisation pathways, ranging from global multi-regional energy systems to regional-specific interconnected energy systems, to distributed micro energy systems. Depending on the scale of the underlying energy system, I use global integrated assessment modelling, regional energy system modelling and stochastic optimisation modelling to design cost-optimal decarbonisation strategies and inform the decision-making of relevant stakeholders at various levels. Cross-scale modelling also fosters mutual learning between top-down global modelling and regional-specific & technology-specific bottom-up modelling to improve the development of overarching scenario narratives. For example, I have followed a cross-scale model chain combining global modelling of land use, global climate modelling and regional hydrology modelling to improve the representation of reservoir hydropower in regional energy system modelling. Based on detailed resource assessment methods and strategies for the integration of intermittent renewables that are often used in regional modelling (e.g. spatial pooling, storage), I will also improve the representation of renewables in global integrated assessment modelling.