Open Energy System Models
Note: This article is based on the Wikipedia article on Open energy system models, which was written by Robbie Morrison and edited by a few other people (see article history in Wikipedia). You can find more information about all of the models mentioned here on the Wikipedia page. If you want to dive deeper into open energy system models, feel free to access the openmod initiative's Wiki pages as well.
Open energy system models are energy system models that are open source. Similarly open energy system data employs open data methods to produce and distribute datasets primarily for use by open energy system models.
Energy system models are used to explore future energy systems and are often applied to questions involving energy and climate policy. The models themselves vary widely in terms of their type, design, programming, application, scope, level of detail, sophistication, and shortcomings. The open energy modeling projects listed here fall exclusively within the bottom-up paradigm, in which a model is a relatively literal representation of the underlying system. For many models, some form of mathematical optimization is used to inform the solution process.
Several drivers favor the development of open models and open data. There is an increasing interest in making public policy energy models more transparent to improve their acceptance by policymakers and the public. There is also a desire to leverage the benefits that open data and open software development can bring, including reduced duplication of effort, better sharing of ideas and information, improved quality, and wider engagement and adoption. Model development is therefore usually a team effort and constituted as either an academic project, a commercial venture, or a genuinely inclusive community initiative.
This article does not cover projects which simply make their source code or spreadsheets available for public download, but which omit a recognized free and open source software license. The absence of a license agreement creates a state of legal uncertainty whereby potential users cannot know which limitations the owner may want to enforce in the future. The projects listed here are deemed suitable for inclusion through having pending or published academic literature or by being reported in secondary sources.
An open energy system modeling project typically comprises a codebase, datasets, and software documentation and perhaps scientific publications. The project repository may be hosted on an institutional server or on a public code-hosting site, such as GitHub. Some projects release only their codebase, while others ship some or all of their datasets as well. Projects may also offer email lists, chat rooms, and web forums to aid collaboration.
The majority of projects are based within university research groups, either singingly or as academic collaborations.
A 2017 paper lists the benefits of open data and models and discusses the reasons that many projects nonetheless remain closed. The paper makes a number of recommendations for projects wishing to transition to a more open approach. The authors also conclude that, in terms of openness, energy research has lagged behind other fields, most notably physics, biotechnology, and medicine.
Open energy system modeling came of age in the 2010s. Just two projects were cited in a 2011 paper on the topic: OSeMOSYS and TEMOA. Balmorel was also active at that time, having been made public in 2001.
Transparency, comprehensibility, and reproducibility
The use of open energy system models and open energy data represents one attempt to improve the transparency, comprehensibility, and reproducibility of energy system models, particularly those used to aid public policy development.
A 2010 paper concerning energy efficiency modeling argues that "an open peer review process can greatly support model verification and validation, which are essential for model development". To further honor the process of peer review, researchers argue, in a 2012 paper, that it is essential to place both the source code and datasets under publicly accessible version control so that third-parties can run, verify, and scrutinize specific models. A 2016 paper contends that model-based energy scenario studies, seeking to influence decision-makers in government and industry, must become more comprehensible and more transparent. To these ends, the paper provides a checklist of transparency criteria that should be completed by modelers. The authors however state that they "consider open source approaches to be an extreme case of transparency that does not automatically facilitate the comprehensibility of studies for policy advice."
A one-page opinion piece from 2017 advances the case for using open energy data and modeling to build public trust in policy analysis. The article also argues that scientific journals have a responsibility to require that data and code be submitted alongside text for peer review.
State-sponsored open source projects in any domain are a relatively new phenomena.
As of 2017, the European Commission now supports several open source energy system modeling projects to aid the transition to a low-carbon energy system for Europe. The Dispa-SET project is modeling the European electricity system and hosts its codebase on GitHub. The MEDEAS project, which will design and implement a new open source energy-economy model for Europe, held its kick-off meeting in February 2016., the project had yet to publish any source code. The established OSeMOSYS project is developing a multi-sector energy model for Europe with Commission funding to support stakeholder outreach. The flagship JRC-EU-TIMES model however remains closed source.
The United States National Energy Modeling System NEMS national model is available but nonetheless difficult to use. NEMS does not classify as an open source project in the accepted sense.
Open electricity sector models
Open electricity sector models are confined to just the electricity sector. These models invariably have a temporal resolution of one hour or less. Some models concentrate on the engineering characteristics of the system, including a good representation of high-voltage transmission networks and AC power flow. Others models depict electricity spot markets and are known as dispatch models. While other models embed autonomous agents to capture, for instance, bidding decisions using techniques from bounded rationality. The ability to handle variable renewable energy, transmission systems, and grid storage are becoming important considerations.
|DIETER||DIW Berlin||MIT license||download||GAMS||publication||dispatch and investment|
|Dispa-SET||EC Joint Research Centre||EUPL 1.1||GitHub||GAMS, Python||website||European transmission and dispatch|
|EMLab-Generation||Delft University of Technology||Apache 2.0||GitHub||Java||manual, website||agent-based|
|EMMA||Neon Neue Energieökonomik||CC BY-SA 3.0||download||GAMS||website||electricity market|
|GENESYS||RWTH Aachen University||LGPLv2.1||on application||C++||website||European electricity system|
|NEMO||University of New South Wales||GPLv3||git repository||Python||website, list||Australian NEM market|
|OnSSET||KTH Royal Institute of Technology||MIT||GitHub||Python||website, GitHub||cost-effective electrification|
|pandapower||University of Kassel, Fraunhofer IWES||BSD-new||GitHub||Python||website||automated power system analysis|
|PowerMatcher||Flexiblepower Alliance Network||Apache 2.0||GitHub||Java||website||smart grid|
|PyPSA||Goethe University Frankfurt||GPLv3||GitHub||Python||website||electric power systems|
|renpass||University of Flensburg||GPLv3||by invitation||R, MySQL||manual||renewables pathways|
|SciGRID||University of Oldenburg||Apache 2.0||git repository||Python||website, newsletter||European transmission grid|
|SIREN||Sustainable Energy Now||AGPLv3||GitHub||Python||website||renewable generation|
|SWITCH||University of Hawai'i||Apache 2.0||GitHub||Python||website||optimal planning|
|URBS||Technical University of Munich||GPLv3||GitHub||Python||website||distributed energy systems|
|Access refers to the methods offered for accessing the codebase.|
Open energy system models
Open energy system models capture some or all of the energy commodities found in an energy system. All models include the electricity sector. Some models add the heat sector, which can be important for countries with significant district heating. Other models add gas networks. With the advent of emobility, other models still include aspects of the transport sector. Indeed, coupling these various sectors using power-to-X technologies is an emerging area of research.
|Calliope||ETH Zurich||Apache 2.0||download||Python||manual, website, list||dispatch and investment|
|DESSTinEE||Imperial College London||CC-BY-SA 3.0||download||Excel/VBA||website||simulation|
|Energy Transition Model||Quintel Intelligence||MIT||GitHub||Ruby||website||web-based|
|EnergyPATHWAYS||Evolved Energy Research||MIT||GitHub||Python||website||mostly simulation|
|ETEM||ORDECSYS, Switzerland||Eclipse 1.0||registration||MathProg||manual||municipal|
|ficus||Technical University of Munich||GPLv3||GitHub||Python||manual||local electricity and heat|
|oemof||oemof community supported by Reiner Lemoine Institute, University of Flensburg, Fachhochschule Flensburg||GPLv3||GitHub||Python||website||framework - dispatch, investment, all sectors, LP/MILP|
|OSeMOSYS]]||OSeMOSYS community||Apache 2.0||GitHub||GAMS, MathProg, Python||website, forum||planning at all scales|
|TEMOA||North Carolina State University||GPLv2+||GitHub||Python||website, forum||system planning|
|Access refers to the methods offered for accessing the codebase.|
- Expert system for an Intelligent Supply of Thermal Energy in Industry (EINSTEIN) – a project for single-facility analysis
- OpenEnergy Platform factsheets – structured summaries covering a range of open and closed energy system models
- OpenEnergyMonitor – an open source energy use monitoring project
- Open Power System Data – an open electricity data project for Germany and beyond
- SAM Solar Advisor Model – a project for evaluating photovoltaic installations
- TRNSYS – the transient system simulation tool
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