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Master thesis: Pan-European Solar Power Modeling in Current and Future Contexts

Advertising institute: IEK-3 - Electrochemical Process Engineering
Reference number: D153/2017, Climate science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy engineering, physics, computer science

Start of work: at once/by arrangement

With the current goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% of 1990 values before the year 2050, the European Union has set the bar for climate action plans and energy responsibility. Elementary to achieving this goal is the increased deployment of renewable energy systems (RES), which is sure to include significant contributions from solar technologies such as photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP).

However, in order to incorporate these technologies effectively into energy systems, detailed information is required concerning the spatiotemporal dynamics of their performance including a realistic selection of potential sites. For this reason, this Master’s project seeks to utilize outputs from regional climate model (RCM) simulations to model solar power generation across the entire European continent. RCM results at these scales typically do not reflect local climate behavior, however, so statistical downscaling or another approach will be required to estimate climate variables at scales relevant to solar RES systems. Results from this work will in turn be used to assist in the construction of energy system development pathways which achieve emission reduction goals.

Project Description:

  • Literature research of PV modelling on national and European scales
  • Status quo and geo-referencing of solar RES systems across European regions
  • Data conditioning of various climate model simulation results to local contexts
  • Full physical simulations of solar RES technologies
  • Determining optimal RES infrastructure over regions


  • Excellent academic marks in climate science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy engineering, physics, computer science, or related fields of study
  • Knowledge on the operation of solar RES technologies
  • Excellent communication skills in English. German is a plus

Additional skills:

  • Familiarity with dynamics of climate systems
  • Experience with geographic information system (GIS) applications
  • Programming experience; Python preferred

Severin Ryberg, M.Sc.
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
IEK-3: Electrochemical Process Engineering
Process and Systems Analysis
52425 Jülich

Tel. 02461 61-9155