DNV GL, the leading technical advisor to the global oil and gas industry, in cooperation with NV Nederlandse Gasunie and the University of Groningen, has developed a novel business simulation game that provides insights into the strategies that market players employ when introducing renewable energy sources in a liberalized energy system. Dubbed “GISEGAS”, this simulation game integrates a web-based front end user interface with a physical world simulation engine built with the AIMMS Modeling Language. Through GISEGAS, the project partners will provide students and companies in the industry with a safe simulation environment to explore different theories and gain new insights about the energy market.
The motivation behind the development of the game is twofold. The first goal is to investigate the role that the human factor plays while addressing techno-economic and legal challenges during the introduction of renewable energy sources into a liberalized energy system. Specifically, the project partners aim to assess the various strategies real life market players pursue when balancing short term profit versus long term continuity, as well as risks and competition versus cooperation. The second purpose of the game is to introduce students to the specific challenges that arise when investing in a liberalized energy system.
When players launch the game, they choose to take on the role of either biogas producer, gas consumer, fossil gas producer or grid operator and can subsequently negotiate investments deals and gas contracts. A government regulator is present as a player and may use financial incentives to steer the players towards a more desirable future energy system. After each negotiation round, players can update the biogas production plants, gas processing plants, storages, pipelines, factories and other pieces on the game board. The AIMMS-based system then calculates how the energy will actually flow through the configured energy system, identifying possible energy supply disruptions. Invoices are sent to the players based on the results of the AIMMS energy flow simulation, and they can adjust their strategies for the next round and address any transport bottlenecks that they may have created. The project partners also hope to extend the game to encompass other energy systems, such as solar energy and wind power. DNV GL decided to use AIMMS as the game’s engine for two main reasons:
- AIMMS and CPLEX allowed for the development of a fully customized simulator with a fail safe solver. This enabled the developers to simulate an arbitrarily large and potentially faulty energy system with active elements as diverse as pipelines, power lines, compressors, transformers, energy storages, gas fired power plants and wind farms.
- AIMMS also provided the flexibility to create the custom data API for integration in the game and can run without interruptions for months.
AIMMS VP EMEA Christophe Frère added: “Gamification is a creative, useful and fun way to create awareness about the choices people make and what their impact is on the bigger scheme. Simulation and optimization also strengthen the intuitive mind. We are happy to see that DNV GL, NV Nederlandse Gasunie and the University of Groningen are using AIMMS technology for this innovative business simulation game in one of our key markets, the energy sector.”
The research for this serious game has been financed by a grant from the Energy Delta Gas Research (EDGaR) program. EDGaR is co-financed by the Northern Netherlands Provinces, the European Fund for Regional Development, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Province of Groningen.
About DNV GL
Established in 1864, DNV GL operates globally in more than 100 countries with over 16,000 professionals dedicated to helping their customers make the world safer, smarter and greener. DNV GL provides classification and technical assurance along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, Oil&Gas and energy industries. It also provides certification services to customers across a wide range of industries.
Visit www.dnv.nl to learn more.
AIMMS is an innovative technology company with offices in The Netherlands, Seattle (US), Singapore and Shanghai. For over 25 years, the company has been developing and selling a unique mathematical optimization platform. AIMMS customers can create high business impact with optimization engines and solutions that enable optimal decision making on complex strategic, tactical or operational problems.