Stefan Pfenninger

I am associate professor of energy systems modelling at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at TU Delft. My research focuses on understanding the technical, economic, environmental, and political trade-offs between different possible ways to build a 100% clean and renewable energy system.

You can reach me by email. Are you a student interested in working with me? See the group page and the specific information for MSc students.

Spotlight: Diversity of options to eliminate fossil fuels and reach carbon neutrality across the entire European energy system

The interactive scenario explorer in action.

We show a diversity of untold options to meet all energy demand based on renewable energy, with a complete phase-out of oil and gas imports. The results can be viewed in an interactive scenario explorer. With a marginal increase above optimal cost, the reliance of an energy self-sufficient Europe on specific solutions, like biofuels, battery storage, transmission expansion, or heat electrification, can vary from not being used at all to being key to system stability. → Pickering, Lombardi and Pfenninger (2022), Joule.


My group’s research is on the global transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy system. This includes designing future energy systems that are able to work with high shares of variable renewable electricity. A prerequisite for this is understanding the spatiotemporal variability of renewable generation and demand. But to develop a truly sustainable energy system it is also necessary to consider trade-offs between the energy transition and other concerns such as biodiversity protection.

→ See Research page for more details

Open code and data

In the course of my work I created and lead development of the open-source energy system modelling tool Calliope. I am also the creator and lead developer of the platform to simulate wind and solar power plants worldwide. I am a member of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative, which promotes openness and transparency in energy system modelling, and of the Open Power System Data project, which provides a free and open data platform for power system modelling.

→ See Projects page for more details

Recent publications

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Bioenergy in Europe: National Deployment, Policy Support, and Possible Future Roles. Fei Wu and Stefan Pfenninger. (2023). Bioresource Technology Reports. doi: 10.1016/j.biteb.2023.101430
  • What Is Redundant and What Is Not? Computational Trade-Offs in Modelling to Generate Alternatives for Energy Infrastructure Deployment. Francesco Lombardi, Bryn Pickering, Stefan Pfenninger. (2023). Applied Energy. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2023.121002
  • Enhancing Drought Resilience and Energy Security through Complementing Hydro by Offshore Wind Power—The Case of Brazil. Paula Conde Santos Borba, Wilson C. Sousa, Milad Shadman, Stefan Pfenninger. (2023). Energy Conversion and Management. doi: 10.1016/j.enconman.2022.116616

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