Limited pathways

Żelisko, W., Kopeć, J. (2024). Limited pathways. Assessment of the capabilities and limitations of the Pathways Explorer in modelling net-zero. Instrat Working Paper 01/2024.

Preparing comprehensive plans for the transition towards net zero requires reliable tools facilitating the creation of easy-to-implement decarbonisation pathways in all sectors of the economy, including those hard to abate, such as transportation and industry.

Instrat has experience modelling energy systems, encompassing modules dedicated to heating, transportation, and a significant part of the industry, including the hydrogen economy. The results of this modelling work significantly impacted the Polish public debate and policies.

The decision to include Pathways Explorer (PathEx) – a web-based tool built by Brussels-based Climact – in our modelling toolbox was dictated by the aim to analyse and incorporate sectors that were not covered in sufficient detail in PyPSA-PL, our in-house model adapted from the global modelling community of PyPSA developers.

PathEx features a user-friendly interface for a model which performs simulations in real-time. PathEx’s architecture differs considerably from that of PyPSA-PL, and we intended to explore it in order to learn about the complexities of the transition scenarios for Poland and Europe.

This publication is a follow-up to the one released by Instrat in January 2023, which contains more details about the tool and the exemplary energy transition pathways for Poland.

In this working paper, we focus on assessing the capacities and limitations of PathEx and presenting the results of our work with the tool. Despite its strengths, such as the speed of generating results or the detailed scope covering every major sector of the economy, we learned about some of the limitations of PathEx and thus decided not to employ it further in our work on transition scenarios. We encourage further work on fine-tuning the model and its underlying principles. However, we also advise Climact and other partner organisations to clearly disclaim that it is still a “work in progress”.

Skip to content