Modeling Electricity Markets with Optimization

Event Description

Modeling Electricity Markets with Optimization: Why It’s Important (and Fun) with Dr. Benjamin F. Hobbs


November 9, 2018 | 12:30-14:00

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Room 206

Washington D.C. 20036


Electric power: done wrong, it drags the economy and environment down; done right, it could help to create a more efficient, brighter, and cleaner future. Better policy, planning, and operations models–both simple analytical, and complex computational ones–are essential if we’re going to do it right. Better modeling is also fun, as the math of electricity models is inherently interesting and revealing–models often show flaws in our intuition. Used intelligently, models can point us towards better regulations, investments, and operating policies. Simple models provide insights, while complex models provide the numbers needed to choose specific investments and policies.

Dr. Hobbs will highlight one application using the power market model COMPETES: the design of renewable portfolio standards, and an analysis of their price and economic efficiency impacts in the Year 2030. He will also examine the cost of country-specific targets versus EU-wide targets.

Please RSVP here

About the Speaker:

Benjamin F. Hobbs earned a Ph.D. (Environmental Systems Engineering) in 1983 from Cornell University. He holds the Theodore M. and Kay W. Schad Chair of Environmental Management at the Johns Hopkins University, where he has been in the Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering (now Environmental Health & Engineering) since 1995. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and is founding director of the JHU Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute, and codirects the Yale-JHU Solutions for Energy, Air, Climate, and Health (SEARCH). Previously, he was at Brookhaven and Oak Ridge National Laboratories and a member of the Systems Engineering and Civil Engineering faculty at Case Western Reserve University.

His research and teaching concerns the application of systems analysis and economics to electric utility regulation, planning, and operations, as well as environmental and water resources systems. Dr. Hobbs has previously held visiting appointments at CalTech, Comillas Pontifical University, Helsinki University of Technology, University of Washington, Netherlands Energy Research Center, and Cambridge University. He chairs the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator. He was named a NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1986. Dr. Hobbs is a Fellow of the IEEE and INFORMS.


Cover Photo: EEU