Joint Research Centre, European Commission


2.5 (2.5.0.post19+g0820c6d)


Mar 14, 2023

The Dispa-SET model is mainly developed within the “Joint Research Centre” of the European Commission and focuses on the balancing and flexibility problems in European grids [1].

It is written in GAMS and uses csv files for input data handling. The optimisation is defined as a Linear Programming (LP) or Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP) problem, depending on the desired level of accuracy and complexity. Continuous variables include the individual unit dispatched power, the shedded load and the curtailed power generation. The binary variables are the commitment status of each unit. The main model features can be summarized as follows:


  • Minimum and maximum power for each unit

  • Power plant constraints: minimum power, ramping limits, Minimum up/down times, start-up, no-load costs

  • Outages (forced and planned) for each units

  • Reserves (spinning & non-spinning) up and down

  • Load Shedding

  • Curtailment

  • Pumped-hydro storage

  • Non-dispatchable units (e.g. wind turbines, run-of-river, etc.)

  • Multi-nodes with capacity constraints on the lines (congestion)

  • Constraints on the targets for renewables and/or CO2 emissions

  • CHP power plants and thermal storage

  • Power-to-heat (heat pump, electrical heater) and thermal storage

  • DSM-ready demand

  • Integrated mid-term scheduling and short-term optimal dispatch

  • Different model formulations and levels of clustering complexity generated from the same dataset.

The demand is assumed to be inelastic to the price signal. The MILP objective function is therefore the total generation cost over the optimization period.

Libraries used and requirements

the above are auto installed in a conda environment if you follow the instructions of the Quick start.

Dispa-SET in the scientific literature

In the past years, Dispa-SET has been used in various scientific works covering different geographical areas and with different focus points. The works for which scientific articles have been published are summarized hereunder:

  • Hydropower for flexibility services in the European power system [2].

  • Generating stylized flexibility constraints for the JRC-EU-TIMES model [3] [4].

  • Impact of Electric Vehicle deployment in The Netherlands [5].

  • Open-source model of the Balkans area, with some simulations involving high shares of renewables [6] [7].

  • Specific country studies for RES integration (Belgium, Greece) [3] [9]

  • Comparison between model formulations and levels of clustering [10] [11] [20]

  • Benders decomposition for capacity expansion [14]

  • The water-energy nexus in Greece and in Africa [8] [9] [15]

  • Soft-linking between JRC-EU-TIMES and Dispa-SET at the EU level [17]

  • Quantifying the flexibility provided by coupling the heating and power sectors [12] [13] [18] [19] [16]

  • Power systems adequacy and flexibility assessments in developing countrie (Africa, Bolivia) [15] [21]

Ongoing developments

The Dispa-SET project is relatively recent, and a number of improvements will be brought to the project in a close future:

  • Grid constraints (DC power-flow)

  • Stochastic scenarios

  • Modelling of investment and capacity expansion

  • Modeling of the ancillary markets


Dispa-SET is a free software licensed under the “European Union Public Licence” EUPL v1.2. It can be redistributed and/or modified under the terms of this license.

Main Developers