PhD scholarship in Energy Economics,Energy Systems Analysis, Modelling and Regulation

Updated: 22 days ago

The Sustainability Division at DTU Management offers a Ph.D. funding in Energy Economics and Systems Analysis with a focus on regulatory frameworks and modelling for the flexible integration of data centres to electricity and district heating systems. The position is opened to be filled as soon as possible. 

The section provides tools and expertise, supporting national and international policy-making in the green transition of energy systems. The section offers an excellent research environment with international staff, postdocs, and PhD students.

The overall research question of the section is how energy systems can be decarbonised and how to design and operate systems and markets with large amounts of variable renewable energy. The section develops energy system models that integrate all energy carriers and sectors that at the same time enable a cost-efficient integration of low-carbon technologies in the energy system. This provides decision support for diverse stakeholders from both, policymaking and industry, in the context of the energy transition.

Hereby, the research in the section addresses some of the main challenges for modelling the green energy transition, for example considering the stochastic supply from renewable technologies, the increasing need of flexibility in the energy system and how regulation and market design can support the energy transition. Energy data is analysed and with the help of statistical and data science techniques to learn about the development of the energy system or to prepare the data for its application to large-scale energy system and power market models. The section combines competences within systems analyses, market design, regulation, econometrics, operations management and energy technology assessment.

This position is funded by DTU Management Engineering and the Ph.D. candidate will take part in the Cool-Data project. 

Data centres are responsible for an increasing share of global energy use and are driving CO2 emissions up. Today, 1 %, or 200 TWh, of the global electricity demand is used by data centres, and this demand is expected to double every five years due to the fast-growing digitalization of our economies. With 40% of data centres’ operating costs allocated to cooling the servers and 98% of lost waste heat, smart and efficient cooling systems have the potential to significantly reduce energy use in this sector, to bring costs down, and to participate in the global sustainable transition effort. The project develops an innovative modular cooling solution capable to reaching up to 80% energy efficiency improvement in the cooling of server rooms while offering flexibility services to electricity systems and enhancing the utilization of carbon-free waste heat in district heating.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The aim of the thesis will be to quantify the techno-economic and environmental gains of the flexible integration of data centres in Denmark and a selection of countries, to the electricity and heat sector and to assess the impact of new regulatory framework conditions that support the full integration of data centres. In detail, the PhD project focuses on the following research topics:

  • Inventory of regulatory and market framework conditions for the flexible integration of data centres to electricity and district heating systems
  • modelling (short-term operation and long-term investment optimization) of electricity and thermal system/district heating.
  • techno-economic and environmental assessment of integrated data centres 
  • Investigation of possible business models for the flexible integration of data centres to energy systems
  • Dissemination of project results in reports, articles, talks etc.
  • Participation to expert seminars and workshops involving policy and digital/energy stakeholders

The Ph.D. candidate shall employ micro economic and policy analysis, applicable to the electricity and heat sector, and the flexible electricity consumption, storage and heat waste utilisation of data centres.

The PhD candidate will work in collaboration with a team of researchers and industrial partners.

We are seeking candidates with Master’s degree (120 ECTS points) in economics, science or engineering, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree, with experiences within energy systems modelling, regulation, and policy. Fluency in English is a requirement.

In addition to the above, the following further qualifications will be considered in the assessment: 

  • Strong background and interest in at least some of the following areas: European electricity market design, European energy transition policy, variable renewable energy sources integration
  • Skills/knowledge within energy policy analysis from an economic perspective
  • Excellent communication skills, both in writing and oral presentation
  • Open-minded team player, able to work in multidisciplinary and multinational teams
  • Experience with scientific writing and project coordination is an advantage

Approval and Enrolment 
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .  

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The workplace can be flexible, but the most obvious would be the DTU Lyngby Campus, Denmark.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here . 

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Claire Bergaentzlé, clberg@dtu.dk and Dogan Keles, dogke@dtu.dk .

Information about the Energy Systems Analysis Section is available here and about DTU Management at www.man.dtu.dk/english . 

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .  

Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 14 February 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here ) 

You may apply prior to ob¬tai¬ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it. 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Management contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimization of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models, and methods. Through our research and teaching, we ensure an innovative, competitive, and sustainable organization and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 350 employees, including around 70 PhD students. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and a total of 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department. 

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.


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