Domaines de compétences
Life Cycle Assessment
Renewable energy planning
Rational Use of Energy
BiographieAs a dedicated PhD student and Research & Teaching Assistant at EPFL & HES-So Valais Wallis, I am deeply engaged in energy system modeling and urban and national system optimization. My academic journey began in the capital of Valais, Switzerland, and has been driven by a passion for cultural diversity and a steadfast commitment to addressing the energy transition, a definitive challenge of the 21st century.
My academic foundation is rooted in machine engineering, with a specialization in energy and technologies at EPFL. My Master's thesis, which won the Zanelli Award, delved into evaluating scenarios for green mobility across European energy systems, reflecting my dedication to sustainable development. I further honed my skills in sustainable optimization and environmental impact evaluation during a research stint at Polytechnique de Montréal - CIRAIG in Canada.
Collaborating with industry and government bodies, I am actively involved in developing strategies that support decision-making and the implementation of sustainable energy solutions. My involvement in projects like EnergyScope Governance and Blue City exemplifies my ability to coordinate international consortia and create impactful research and development strategies.
Closing the balance - on the role of integrating biorefineries in the future energy system (vol 7, pg 4839, 2023)
Correction for 'Closing the balance - on the role of integrating biorefineries in the future energy system' by Julia Granacher et al., Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2023, 7, 4839-4854, https://doi.org/10.1039/D3SE00473B.Sustainable Energy & Fuels. 2023-10-31. DOI : 10.1039/d3se90081a.
Closing the balance - on the role of integrating biorefineries in the future energy system
Fuels from bio-based resources hold the potential to supply fossil fuel alternatives at reasonable economic and environmental expenses that can assist emission reduction in the transportation sector. However, apart from a general need to reduce fossil-based emissions, the shift from fossil energy carriers to renewables is likely to cause mismatches of supply and demand of electricity. This paper investigates the potential of integrated biorefineries to assist in balancing electricity demand and supply while co-producing fuels from biomass. At the example of a pulp mill and a nearby residential district, synergies between biomass valorization at an industrial site and residential energy demands are explored regarding defossilization potential and economic impacts. A Kraft pulp mill is integrated with thermochemical conversion processes, converting residuals of the pulping process to fuel. Power-to-fuel and fuel-to-power processes are enabled for increasing flexibility and enhancing additional fuel production in times of electricity oversupply. Multi-objective optimization is coupled with systematic solution generation and exploration approaches for deriving viable system configurations. Results indicate that direct emissions of the mill and the residential district can be reduced by up to 90% compared to the non-integrated system. Optimization of the prices of internal exchanges between mill and district reveals that this reduction comes at added expenses for all stakeholders, but that a reduction of emissions by approximately 50% provides economic benefits. Extrapolating the analysis to the European level reveals that the benefits of integration depend largely on the energy portfolio present in the considered region.Sustainable Energy & Fuels. 2023-08-02. DOI : 10.1039/d3se00473b.
On the role of energy infrastructure in the energy transition. Case study of an energy independent and CO2 neutral energy system for Switzerland
The transition towards renewable energy is leading to an important strain on the energy grids. The question of designing and deploying renewable energy technologies in symbiosis with existing grids and infrastructure is arising. While current energy system models mainly focus on the energy transformation system or only investigate the effect on one energy vector grid, we present a methodology to characterize different energy vector grids and storage, integrated into the multi-energy and multi-sector modeling framework EnergyScope. The characterization of energy grids is achieved through a traditional energy technology and grid modeling approach, integrating economic and technical parameters. The methodology has been applied to the case study of a country with a high existing transmission infrastructure density, e.g., Switzerland, switching from a fossil fuel-based system to a high share of renewable energy deployment. The results show that the economic optimum with high shares of renewable energy requires the electric distribution grid reinforcement with 2.439 GW (+61%) Low Voltage (LV) and 4.626 GW (+82%) Medium Voltage (MV), with no reinforcement required at transmission level [High Voltage (HV) and Extra High Voltage (EHV)]. The reinforcement is due to high shares of LV-Photovoltaic (PV) (15.4 GW) and MV-wind (20 GW) deployment. Without reinforcement, additional biomass is required for methane production, which is stored in 4.8–5.95 TWh methane storage tanks to compensate for seasonal intermittency using the existing gas infrastructure. In contrast, hydro storage capacity is used at a maximum of 8.9 TWh. Furthermore, the choice of less efficient technologies to avoid reinforcement results in a 8.5%–9.3% cost penalty compared to the cost of the reinforced system. This study considers a geographically averaged and aggregated model, assuming all production and consumption are made in one single spot, not considering the role of future decentralization of the energy system, leading to a possible overestimation of grid reinforcement needs.Frontiers in Energy Research. 2023. DOI : 10.3389/fenrg.2023.1164813.
Identification of typical district configurations: A two-step global sensitivity analysis framework2023-06-30. 36th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain , June 25-30, 2023.
Integration of Life Cycle Impact Assessment in Energy System Modelling2023-06-25. 36th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, June 25-30, 2023.
Regionalisation in high share renewable energy system modelling2022-10-27. 2022 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM), Denver, Colorado, USA, July 17-21, 2022. p. 1-5. DOI : 10.1109/PESGM48719.2022.9917062.
Where is the money ? A decomposition of monetary flows behind fossil fuels2022-07-01. 35th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 17-21, 2022. p. 1791-1800.
Assessment of the role of infrastructure in high share renewable energy systems2022-07. 35th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 4-7, 2022. p. 1-11.
An analysis of the impacts of green mobility strategies and technologies on different European energy system2021-08-01. The 34th International conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems (ECOS 2021), Taormina, Italy, June 27 - July 2, 2021.
A modelling framework for assessing the impact of green mobility technologies on energy systems2021-08-01. The 34th International conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems (ECOS 2021), Taormina, Italy, June 27 - July 2, 2021.
Application of artificial intelligence on uncertainty analysis for long-term energy system planning2021. 34th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems (ECOS 2021), Taormina, Italy, June 27-July 2, 2021.
Appendix - A modelling framework for assessing the impact of green mobility technologies on energy systems2021. ECOS 2021 - The 34th International conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Taormina, Italy, June 27 - July 2, 2021.
Application of data reconciliation methods for performance monitoring of power-to-gas plants2020-06-29. 33rd International Conference onEfficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems - ECOS 2020. p. 1546-1564.
Integrating Alpine Photovoltaic Technology into EnergyScope: A Case Study of Switzerland’s Energy System2023-06-13
Impact of renewable energy hubs configurations on the national infrastructure2023-03-24
District energy network potentials in a city territory2022-09-02
Reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions is not the only solution2022-08-25
Application of levelized infrastructure-connected regionalisation in energy systems modelling2022-06-20
Prospective study on the cost evolution for key energy technologies2022-02-22
Contribution of storage technologies to renewable energy hubs2022-01-21
Assessment of price decomposition and distribution of fossil fuels2022-01-15
Demographic and Geographic Region Definition in Energy System Modelling. A case study of Canada’s path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the role of hydrogen2021-08-27
Assessment of building stock impact on global energy system optimization2021-07-26
EnergyScope Europe - Data research and model adaptation2021-01-15
EPFL's District Heating Heat Pump - Performance Analysis for DIfferent Working Fluids2021-01-15
Assessment of green mobility scenarios on European energy systems2020-08-21
Image énergétique de la commune de Sion - une inventarisation des ressources et demande2019-12-19
EnergyScope Valais - Case study of Regionalisation2018-08-13
Sustainable energy systemsThe Paris Agreement marks a significant global commitment to climate change mitigation, aiming for climate neutrality before the century's end. To achieve these ambitious goals, energy system modeling is crucial, yet it often falls short in considering the wider environmental and social impacts. Our research introduces a novel methodology that incorporates life-cycle impact assessment indicators into energy system modeling. This approach allows for a more thorough evaluation of economic and environmental outcomes, taking a comprehensive view of potential impacts.
Using Switzerland's energy system as a focal point, our model demonstrates that optimizing key environomic indicators can yield considerable economic benefits. System costs could decrease significantly by minimizing the impacts from operating fossil fuel technologies and accounting for the indirect effects associated with constructing renewable infrastructure. However, an emphasis on economic efficiency alone may inadvertently shift burdens to other environmental areas, despite a substantial reduction in carbon footprint.
Our research advocates for the adoption of multi-objective optimization, which delves into the intricate balance between environomic goals and technological options. By doing so, it sheds light on more holistic strategies for energy systems optimization, addressing the various trade-offs and enhancing the societal acceptance of solutions to global climate challenges. This study not only contributes to the academic discourse but also offers practical insights for policymakers and industry leaders striving for carbon neutrality and sustainable development.
Keywords: Energy System Modeling, Life-Cycle Impact Assessment, Multi-Objective Optimization, Renewable Energy, Environmental Burden Shifting, Switzerland, Carbon Neutrality.
Concurrent regulationsWith the adoption of the European Green Deal (EGD), European countries have devised energy policies to align with its objectives. These policies focus on increasing renewable primary energy (RPE) and electricity production to achieve carbon neutrality, with progress indicated in strategic documents. Notably, the correlation between global energy system electrification and electricity production is evident in most national policies, with France and Austria as notable outliers due to their unique energy strategies. France emphasizes complete electrification via nuclear power, while Austria relies on synthetic and biofuels for heating and mobility.
Switzerland's Energiestrategie 2050 exemplifies a commitment to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 while phasing out nuclear power. However, regional variations in energy systems, regulations, and potentials lead to diverse transition pathways at the cantonal level. Governments employ tools such as taxes and subsidies to guide these transitions, aiming to minimize socio-economic costs and environmental impacts. The evolution of the energy market, influenced by factors such as natural gas prices, will significantly alter energy service costs to consumers. The overarching goal is to motivate and guide citizens and industries towards the national objectives, using governmental levers to influence the energy sector, behaviors, and market dynamics.
Synergies of scalesNational systems encompass diverse regions with distinct geographical, meteorological, demographic, anthropological, and economic characteristics. These variations result in unique end-use demands and renewable energy potentials for each region. The critical challenge lies in incorporating these differences into energy system planning, determining the optimal locations and technologies for installation and operation. Additionally, it involves deciding whether to capitalize on synergies between regions through centralized integration and regional exchanges or to focus on local production through decentralization.
Role of InfrastructureA significant challenge in implementing high proportions of renewable energy is ensuring the security of supply. This concept traditionally meant maintaining a two-week stock of fossil fuels but needs redefinition in light of the shift toward intermittent and decentralized renewable energy sources. This shift necessitates new strategies for energy storage during outages, as well as for the distribution grids and infrastructure.
European nations employ varied strategies to ensure a stable energy supply. The approach depends on the type of renewable energy strategy adopted, affecting the extent of reliance on imports. Countries focusing on electrification mainly depend on importing electricity and tend to have lower import needs with increased shares of renewable primary energy. In contrast, countries using a mix of electricity, bio, and synthetic fuels depend on both fuel storage and significant imports. Nations with lower import dependencies typically rely on nuclear power or possess high renewable energy potential.
The reliance on importing and distributing resources or storing energy vectors requires substantial investments in infrastructure to ensure adequate security of supply. These investments increase the overall costs of the energy system, costs which are ultimately borne by the consumer. For instance, electricity pricing currently includes a significant portion of grid costs. Addressing these challenges involves integrating infrastructure to manage bottlenecks and assess the feasibility of transport and distribution, all while considering the impact on the overall energy system costs.
Enseignement & Phd
CoursesTeaching assistant coaching students in several lectures
where the student's mission is to optimise thermoeconomically industrial processes
Methods for the rational use and conversion of energy in industrial processes : how to analyse the energy usage, calculate the heat recovery by pinch analysis, define heat exchanger network, integrate heat pumps and cogeneration units and realise exergy analysis of energy conversion systems.
Modelling and Optimization of Energy systems
where students are familiarized with the modelling of energy systems through the example of the EPFL heating system.
The goal of the lecture is to present and apply techniques for the modelling and the thermo-economic optimisation of industrial process and energy systems. The lecture covers the problem statement, the solving methods for the simulation and the single and multi-objective optimisation problems.Life cycle assessment in energy systemsThis course introduces students to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a comprehensive methodology for evaluating energy conversion technologies and other systems across their entire value chain, considering a spectrum of environmental issues beyond just climate change. Students will gain foundational knowledge of LCA's conceptual framework and basic principles in line with ISO 14040/44 standards.
Life cycle assessment in energy
where students are introduce to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a holistic approach to evaluate, among others, energy conversion technologies throughout their entire value chain, and across multiple environmental problems beyond climate change.
The course objectives include understanding how to define the goal and scope of an LCA study, grasping the computational structure of LCA, and learning to model technological systems, emissions, and resource consumption. Students will also develop skills in interpreting LCA results, appreciating the influence of modeling choices, and identifying the method's current limitations. A significant focus will be on identifying major environmental issues associated with both current and new technologies, as well as analyzing the environmental benefits of integrating energy systems throughout the value chain. This course is designed for students interested in environmental sustainability, energy systems, and the broader impacts of technology on the planet.
Student supervisionSupervision of several semester and master projects.
Available projects can be found here. If no topic suits well, it is possible to determine a subject (please contact by mail).