Open source optimization tool for energy systems offers global coverage



An international research team developed the PyPSA-Earth model for energy system and power studies, technology assessment, phase-out plans, decentralization and market simulations. It provides access to countries without defined energy planning scenarios.

Researchers around the world have developed an open source global energy system model that is suitable for countries with no previous energy planning scenario, setting it apart from existing tools.

The PyPSA-Earth model can automatically load open data, generate model-ready data, and integrate optimization features for large-scale energy system design. Utilizing the Snakemake automated workflow management system, it efficiently breaks down complex software processes into sub-tasks and seamlessly integrates various data sources and open source tools to process raw data. This enables the creation of national, regional, continental or global data.

The model can provide energy system transition studies, power system studies, technology assessment studies, technology retirement plans, supply diversification studies and electricity market simulations. It uses the free Atlite software, which converts weather data into energy system data for modeling renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydropower.

The researchers validated the model for the 2060 net-zero energy planning study for the African continent and Nigeria in particular.

“Because there are limited, existing, reliable datasets of power plants in the African region power fitting tool has been expanded to include additional datasets such as OpenStreetMap, to fine-tune the African model and validate the results with the ultimate goal of maximizing the accuracy and quality of the result,” they elaborated. “Validating the African electricity grid is challenging. Unlike Europe, where ENTSO-E provides reliable open data continent-wide, such a transparent data source is lacking in Africa, and only a few institutions publish open data.

The proposed model is part of the PyPSA meets Earth initiative, a research project that aims to improve energy system design with open solutions.

David is a passionate writer and researcher who specializes in solar energy. He has a strong background in engineering and environmental science, which gives him a deep understanding of the science behind solar power and its benefits. David writes about the latest developments in solar technology and provides practical advice for homeowners and businesses who are interested in switching to solar.

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