R&D units

Unit of system analysis

Dr. Javier Dufour

Research Professor & Head of Unit


Dr. Diego Iribarren

Senior Researcher


The main objective of the Systems Analysis Unit at IMDEA Energy is the evaluation of the sustainability (environmental, economic and social) of energy systems; the design, simulation and optimisation of processes; and the development of models for energy planning.

Research lines

  • Sustainability assessment (environmental, economic and social) of energy systems, applying and developing life cycle methodologies.
  • Design, simulation, thermodynamic analysis and techno-economic and environmental optimisation of energy processes.
  • Prospective analysis of energy systems and scenarios.

All of the above applied, for example, to:

  – Bio-energy and renewable electricity

  – Bio- and clean fuels

  – Hydrogen

  – CO2 capture and utilisation systems

  – Circular economy


The Systems Analysis Unit focuses on designing and evaluating energy processes and systems from laboratory and pilot plant scale research, developing predictive models, simulating and optimising them for industrial scale-up.

In addition, it develops and applies advanced life cycle analysis tools for the comparison of different technologies to ensure that they will be environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible. The latter is a distinctive feature of the Unit, being one of the benchmarks in the social analysis of the life cycle of energy systems.

All of the above is complemented by the development of energy models that allow for the evaluation of future energy scenarios in which the above technologies would be incorporated, seeing how they would be affected by the environment (and vice versa).

The ultimate goal of all these capabilities is to contribute to good decision-making, so that the transition to a decarbonised society means progress for everyone.

R&D projects

Outstanding results

  1. Hydrogen Week Best Success Story Award 2021 (Proyectos SH2E + eGHOST) (https://www.energy.imdea.org/events/2021/eghost-sh2e-win-hydrogen-weekend-best-success-story-award).
  2. 22º Energy Globe World Award en la categoría “Fuego” al proyecto SUN-TO-LIQUID
  3. Diego Iribarren. “Hydrogen Europe Research Young Scientist Award for the cross-cutting pillar (Brussels, Nov 2018)”
  4. Most Cited Paper Award 2020 from Resources Conservation and Recycling Awarded to “Construction and demolition waste best management practice in Europe”  (doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.04.016)
  5. GreenH2armony®: Herramienta para la armonización de análisis de ciclo de vida de sistemas de producción de hidrógeno (https://imdeaenergy.greenh2armony.org/).
  6. D. Iribarren, A. Valente, J. Dufour. Life cycle sustainability assessment of hydrogen energy systems. IEA HIA TASK 36 Final Report (https://www.ieahydrogen.org/wpfd_file/task-36-final-report/) y
  7. Istrate, I.R., Iribarren, D., Dufour, J., Ortiz Cebolla, R., Arrigoni, A., Moretto, P. and Dolci, F., Quantifying emissions in the European maritime sector, EUR 31050 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2022, ISBN 978-92-76-51975-1, doi:10.2760/496363, JRC128870 (https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC128870).