About thea hoekstra

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So far thea hoekstra has created 20 blog entries.

Blog #9 – Market Design to support Energy Transitions

About my research

The objective of my research is to explore how markets can be designed and operated to support the North Sea and wider EU energy transitions. The idea is to develop models that move away from traditional central optimization-based approaches towards models that include the complexities of real-world gas, electricity and other energy markets, including: imperfect competition, barriers to trade, and neighbouring jurisdictions with different market mechanisms.

The models considered are (partial) equilibrium models, cast as mathematical problems with equilibrium constraints (MPECs). The method selected is Complementarity Modelling of Energy Markets and in conjunction with more qualitative analysis, the models will then be used to identify market designs and energy […]

Blog #9 – Market Design to support Energy Transitions2021-01-06T10:14:49+00:00

Blog #8 – My journey into the field of energy system modelling.

The transition towards a sustainable energy system is a process that not only offers hope to steer the worlds current trajectory away from the devastating impacts of climate change but it also carries a lot of questions and uncertainties. These uncertainties spread across multiple sectors and discipline. During my carrier, I have been engaging with different actors in the power sector.  This helped me better understand how these uncertainties affect them specifically. For example, among the top priorities of an electricity service provider is that the service they offer to their customers must remain affordable and reliable. The intermittency of certain renewables, in particular wind and solar, can pose a […]

Blog #8 – My journey into the field of energy system modelling.2020-11-02T10:51:51+00:00

Blog #7 – Deployment of offshore wind farms in the North Sea

In pursuit of reaching the ambitious energy goals for 2030 and 2050, the countries surrounding the North Sea basin have substantially increased their efforts in deploying large-scale offshore wind farms (Fig. 1). However, several studies indicated a serious scarcity of suitable offshore locations for wind farms, in areas with a water depth above -55 m [1], especially in the southern part of the North Sea. Scenarios, such as Wind Europe Central Scenario for the deployment of renewable energy in the North Sea, propose up to 48 GW installed capacity by 2030 [2], approx. 3 times the installed capacity in 2019. Moreover, a large-scale deployment for offshore wind farms is raising […]

Blog #7 – Deployment of offshore wind farms in the North Sea2020-10-07T09:07:04+00:00

Blog #6 – Industrial decarbonisation: Why is it important for the Energy transition?


The image of wind-turbines working along with large-scale PV plants is the first thing that comes to our mind, when we hear the term Energy Transition. In recent times, there has also been a focus on decarbonising the transport sector with electric vehicles powered by solar and wind energy. The coal gas fired heating system in buildings are being replaced with heat pumps in order to reduce the carbon footprint of our houses and commercial dwellings. While, these are extremely important steps, an important part of the jigsaw puzzle achieving a green transition of global economy remains relatively untouched. The industrial sector, especially the energy-intensive industries […]

Blog #6 – Industrial decarbonisation: Why is it important for the Energy transition?2020-08-06T09:05:54+00:00

Blog #4 – Renewable advanced biofuels and their role in the energy system

Renewable advanced biofuels and their role in the energy system

Advanced biofuels are liquid fuels for transport produced from certain feedstock that meet sustainability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission criteria. These can be lignocellulosic feedstocks (i.e. agricultural and forestry residues), non-food crops (i.e. grasses, miscanthus, algae), or industrial waste and residue streams that have low CO2 emission or high GHG reduction, and reaches zero or low indirect land use change (ILUC) impact, overcoming the main drawbacks of conventional or first generation biofuels. By 2030, European Member States must require fuel suppliers to supply a minimum of 14% of the energy consumed in road and rail transport as renewable energy, with a […]

Blog #4 – Renewable advanced biofuels and their role in the energy system2020-06-15T12:01:22+00:00

Workshop Stavanger

From 11-14 May the ENSYSTRA project hosted its first online Workshop, organised by University of Stavanger. The topic of this Workshop was ‘Future Sustainable Energy Systems: Technology and Innovation for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy’. The week was packed with interesting presentations but also workshops concerning fundraising and grant writing, career development, creativity and innovation. Guest speakers shared their insight on topics such as Hydropower and energy system modelling in government, the role of hydropower in the green transition, blue hydrogen, offshore wind and hydropower in sustainable utilization.

Next to that, the ESRs had time to update each other on the progress of their research and make a first draft for […]

Workshop Stavanger2020-06-03T11:45:58+00:00

Blog #3 – Offshore Advanced Renewable Energy Technologies, Learning Curves and Roadmaps

In this blog post, I will introduce my research in the ENSYSTRA project and my experiences so far.

About my research

ENSYSTRA project comprises 15 Ph.D. fellows studying the energy transition in an interdisciplinary way (divided into four work packages). I am part of the WP 2 – technologies and development pathways, where I study the developments of the key offshore renewable energy technologies in the market. Specific focus is given to offshore wind, wave & tidal technology, biofuel production from seaweed. In my research, I use quantitative methodologies like experience curves and bottom-up cost modeling to examine the learning process of offshore energy technologies. In other words, I identify what technological […]

Blog #3 – Offshore Advanced Renewable Energy Technologies, Learning Curves and Roadmaps2020-05-18T10:48:31+00:00

Blog #2 – The Diversity and Key Characteristics of Citizen Ownership

Citizens’ empowerment and participation are seen as strategic to meeting the EU’s energy targets [1]. In line with this, the new EU Renewable Energy Directive and Electricity Market Directive include definitions for “renewable energy communities” and “citizen energy communities” respectively and are expected to promote the implementation of renewable energy projects with open and participatory forms of citizen ownership in the EU Member States. Citizen ownership is already common in some EU countries, but quite uncommon in some others [2]. Furthermore, citizen ownership is very diverse. Therefore, lack of awareness about the multiple citizen ownership models that already […]

Blog #2 – The Diversity and Key Characteristics of Citizen Ownership2020-04-02T12:02:38+00:00

Chalmers Workshop

The role of science, models and communication in energy transitions

In the autumn of 2019, the ENSYSTRA project joined up for a workshop hosted by Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The main theme of this workshop was Modelling Energy Systems, focussing specifically on the application of models in science and the use of model results for policy and industrial decision making. Key questions: What can we actually learn from different types of models and what are potential strengths and weaknesses of different approaches? And what is a researcher’s role in the interaction with society and stakeholders?

The hosts from Chalmers University developed an interesting and intense […]

Chalmers Workshop2020-03-10T10:14:06+00:00

Blog #1 – ENSYSTRA Overview

Energy systems in transition: A welcome to the ENSYSTRA project and a brief explanation of our research goals

By Benjamin R. Silvester, Former Lead Representative on the ENSYSTRA Early Stage Researcher (ESR) Committee – email: benjamin.r.silvester@uis.no

Hello, and welcome to the ENSYSTRA blog!

In our first instalment of our blog, I want to provide a brief overview of our project and outline some of our research goals.

The aim of this blog is to communicate the research, ideas, and experiences of the 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) currently enrolled on PhD programmes working on the ENSYSTRA project, and to update you, the reader, on the progress of our individual […]

Blog #1 – ENSYSTRA Overview2020-02-18T08:37:37+00:00
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