Dr. Binod Koirala
Scientist | Urban Energy Systems
Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
Tel +41 58 765 46 83
Mob +41 79 694 82 26



Research Background

Since August 2021, I am scientist decentralized energy systems at Urban Energy Systems Laboratory of Empa. My current research focus is on technical, socio-economic and institutional aspects of energy transition at local, regional, national and international level. 

At TNO, between 2019 - 2021, I worked on modelling, simulation and optimization of integrated energy systems and markets (electricity, hydrogen, methane) for the Netherlands and North-Western European countries. The developed model is being used in several research projects such as NorthSeaEnergy 4 and Hychain4.  In addition, I analysed the effect of increased cross-border capacities as well as zonal pricing in line with ongoing bidding zone review from ENTSO‑E. I investigated the impact of uptake of electric vehicles in distribution grids as well as national energy system. I was a work package leader on H2020 project BRIGHT and   on consumer engagement and demand response and H2020 GRETA on energy Citizenship (both of which I also acquired). I also lead several acquisition activities in multiple H2020 projects on integrated local energy systems. I also served as an expert and national focal point for the upcoming IEA report ‘Projected cost of generating electricity 2025’.

Between 2017-2019, I performed modelling and simulation of community-scale thermal and electrical energy storage systems. I analysed community energy storage as complex socio-technical, multi-value and multi-actor system and perform constructive technology assessment of innovative energy technologies such as ECOVAT and DrTen. I also published scientific articles on governance and business models, on operationalization of responsible innovation as well as on socio-technical innovation alignment. In 2019, I organized an international conference on ‘New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage’. I also co-edited the follow-up special issue on the same topic in the journal ‘Energies’. In addition, I am also guest editor of the special issue on ‘Energy communities in the changing energy landscape’ in the journal ‘Sustainability’.

During my PhD research TU Delft and Comillas (2013 – 2017), I developed the research design and performed intensive modelling of integrated community energy systems (ICES) for optimal planning and operation in MATLAB and GAMS environment. The analysis of the power system, markets, and trends as well as the potential value proposition of ICESs across the value chain was integral part of this research as well as the interactions and dynamics of ICES with the larger energy system. I developed an institutional design for ICESs considering prevalent technical, socio-economic, environmental and institutional issues in changing energy landscape. I also designed a survey on the willingness of citizens to participate in ICES and analyzed the data using co-relation, multi-variate regression analysis and factor analysis using SPSS and R. I provided the policy recommendation and pathways for the emergence of ICESs for urban communities of developed countries and lesson learned for developing countries. In addition, I worked as a PhD council liaison member for the graduate school of TU Delft. I have successfully organized an Energy Data Hackathon: Electrifying Africa at TU Delft with participation of 50  EU students and 20 stakeholders from energy sector.

Between 2009 -2013, at Fraunhofer ISE, I worked for European NACIR project (New application for CPV: A fast way to improve reliability and technology progress), performing system design, modelling and simulation of CPV and CPV-hybrid systems, setting up pilot deployment of world’s first CPV standalone micro-grid system in Egypt as well as lab set-up in Fraunhofer ISE. The tools used were Modelica/Dymola, Powerfactory, and mathematica. I also conducted monitoring and performance analysis of this system for several years after implementation. I also obtained funding for pre-feasibility study as well as implementation for Interconnected Mini-grids for Intensive Rural Electrification in Nepal (IMIREN) project from Wuppertal institute(Wisions) and Energizing development. In 2008 and 2009, at Fraunhofer IWES, I worked for FP7 projects PV-MIPS and MULTIELEMENT on module integrated inverters and building integrated photovoltaics, respectively.

In addition, I also did several internships at organizations such as Fraunhofer Institute for wind and energy systems IWES, Kassel, Institute for solar energy Technology, Kassel and Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. These internships were mainly engaged in thermal, electric and losses modelling of photovoltaic systems. I have also volunteered at several organizations such as Mondialogo Engineering Award, Engineers without borders, Himalaya Hilfe Freiburg and micro-hydro empowerment network in the field of project implementation, capacity building, technology transfer and development co-operation. My volunteering experience includes leadership in several projects such as solar-LED lamps for rural villages in Rajasthan, India through Mondialogo engineering award project, sustainable energy solutions for a rural school in Kenya through engineers without borders, Solar PV systems for rural schools in Nepal and earthquake resistant re-construction of rural schools through Himalaya Hilfe Freiburg. I also jointly organized a job fair – WorkGreen in Freiburg attended by 20 companies and 1500 visitors.

I have published  more than 10 peer-reviewed articles in high-ranked journals and presented in several international conferences. I have acquired, led or participated in several H2020 and national research projects.


Key Scientific Publications

Koirala, B. P.; Koliou, E.; Friege, J.; Hakvoort, R. A.; Herder, P. M. Energetic communities for community energy: A review of key issues and trends shaping integrated community energy systems. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2016, 56, 722–744 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.11.080 

Koirala, B. P.; van Oost, E.C.J.; van der Windt, H. Community energy storage: A responsible innovation towards a sustainable energy systems, Applied Energy, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.09.163

Koirala, B. P.; Hers, S.; Espana, G. M.; Ozmedir, O.; Sijm, J.; Weeda, M. Integrated electricity, hydrogen and methane Systems modelling framework: Application to the Dutch Infrastructure framework 2050, Applied Energy, 2021 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.116713

C. Eid, L.A. Bollinger, B. Koirala, D. Scholten, E. Facchinetti, J. Lilliestam, R. Hakvoort, Market integration of local energy systems: Is local energy management compatible with European regulation for retail competition?, Energy. 114 (2016) 913– 922. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2016.08.072

B. Koirala, B.Sahan, N.Henze. A study on MPP Mismatch Losses in Photovoltaic Applications, 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibitions 2009, Hamburg, Germany, pp. 3727-3732

Koirala, B. P.; Chaves-Ávila, J. P.; Hakvoort, R. A.; Gomez, T.; Herder P. Local alternative for energy supply: Performance assessment of Integrated Community Energy Systems, Energies, 2016 https://doi.org/10.3390/en9120981

Koirala BP, Araghi Y, Kroesen M, Ghorbani A, Hakvoort RA, Herder PM. Trust, awareness, and independence: Insights from a socio-psychological factor analysis of citizen knowledge and participation in community energy systems. Energy Res Soc Sci 2018;38:33–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2018.01.009

Koirala, B.P.; van Oost, E.; van der Windt, H. Innovation Dynamics of Socio-Technical Alignment in Community Energy Storage: The Cases of DrTen and Ecovat. Energies 2020, 13, 2955. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112955

Costa C, Ortega M, Bunsen T, Koirala B, Ghorbani A. Facilitating Energy Transition through Energy Commons: An Application of Socio-Ecological Systems Framework for Integrated Community Energy Systems. Sustainability 2018;10:366. doi:10.3390/su10020366.

Koirala BP. Integrated Community Energy Systems. PhD Thesis, Delft University of Technology; 2017. doi:10.4233/uuid:10d555dd-8f03-4986-b5bf-ef09a63c92e1

Koirala, B. P.; Hakvoort, R. A.; van Oost, E.C.J.; van der Windt, H. Community energy storage: Governance and business models, Consumer, Prosumer, Prosumager: How service innovation will disrupt the utility business model, edited by Fereidoon Sioshansi Academic press, 2018. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-816835-6.00010

Koirala, B. P.; Hakvoort, R. A. Integrated community-based energy systems: Aligning technology, incentives and regulations, Innovation & disruption at the Grid’s Edge, edited by Fereidoon Sioshansi (Academic Press, June 2017)

Koirala, B. P.; Chaves-Ávila, J. P.; Hakvoort, R. A.; Gomez, T. Assessment of integrated community energy systems. International Conference on European Energy Markets. 2016, Porto, Portugal.