PhD Candidate - power system modelling and policies for a transition to a completely renewable electricity system



Published19 May 2017
WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland
CategoryMicrotechnics / Electroengineering
Environment / Sustainable Development
PositionJunior Researcher / PhD Position


In the Renewable Energy Policy Group, we conduct interdisciplinary research about policy options, strategies and instruments for the complete decarbonisation of the electricity sector using only renewables. Our focus is on Europe and the immediately surrounding regions. We are looking for a

PhD candidate - power system modelling and policies for a transition to a completely renewable electricity system

To fulfil its long-term climate obligations and do its share climate change mitigation, Europe must completely decarbonise its electricity system by the middle of the century. As several low-carbon supply options - especially nuclear power and carbon capture and storage - are currently expensive and suffer from problems with scaling up, the European decision for complete decarbonisation is likely to equal a decision for a transition to a completely renewable power system. Such a transition will be very challenging, especially within the short time frame of 30-35 years. It is even more challenging as it is not the only energy policy aim: at the same time, Europe also seeks to liberalise its power market, europeanise the power system and lift the policy competence from the national to the European level, and to reduce energy and electricity demand. As these aims affect the same system, they will interact, but exactly how they could affect each other has not been investigated in detail; yet, there is reason to expect that their interactions may not be synergistic but rather conflicting. The successful candidate will work in the Renewable Energy Policy Group - which will start in August 2017 - and be supervised by Johan Lilliestam, in a new and expanding research group focused on policy analysis of options, strategies and instruments for the transition to a completely renewable electricity system. The successful candidate will work with the power system modelling questions in the European Research Council-founded project TRIPOD: the transition to a renewable electricity system and its interactions with other policy aims.

Suitable candidates must have a Master Degree and documented experience with power system modelling. An educational background of energy policy analysis, especially in the European context, is beneficial. The modelling work of the TRIPOD project will use the open-source model Calliope ( ); possibly, we will use other models as well, should we find that they fit our particular research questions. Hence, broad experience with programming and/or other quantitative methods are beneficial. Any candidate will have a strong interest in academic research, underlined by an excellent track record. The successful candidate is expected to finish her or his thesis within three years. The workplace will be Zürich, at the ETH Zentrum Campus. Documented experience with both modelling and scientific writing (in English) - for example in a Master Thesis, or a research paper/report - with power system modelling is required for any candidate. A good understanding of the European electricity system and European energy policy are key experiences. Fluency in English is a prerequisite for the position, and fluency in other European languages is highly valuable; the working languages at ETH are German and English. The starting date is August 2017, or a later date subject to negotiation.


In your application, please refer to
and reference  JobID 36425.

More job offers worldwide on