Welcome to the open (energy) system analysis community forum

A forum — and hopefully also a nascent community — initially conceived to explore carbon-zero energy systems using open science.


The backstory to this site begins with two “energy bridge” meetings (described here and here) held in Berlin in 2019 under the umbrella of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative (openmod). These meetings attracted 16 and 30 participants respectively and suggested that a community to bring together energy system analysts and civil society organizations (CSO) might just be viable.

Not widely recognized is the now large and vibrant research community building open tools and datasets to analyze future energy systems (Morrison 2019). The barriers to analysis are steadily dropping and, taken together, these tools and datasets represent a largely untapped resource for civil society.

But the issue is more than one of analytical convenience. It should be civil society — not analysts — that envision the carbon‑zero futures and indicate which pathways they would accept and prefer.

Readers will note “(energy)” set in brackets in the title. That is so that life cycle and CLEWS 1 analysts can contribute. As the community evolves, the term “energy” may be dropped as a descriptor.

This community is for both technical and non‑technical participants, for analysts and consumers of analysis, for those who want to shape our shared futures using integrated analysis and systems thinking. Indeed, all those who want to establish a “bridge” to some livable not‑so‑distant future.

It is also a community for members of the interested public to contribute their skills and knowledge, particularly those with backgrounds in software development, data analysis, information visualization, and technical communication.

A preliminary agenda

It may be useful for me, @robbie, to place some thoughts on the table for consideration and perhaps uptake by this nascent community:

  1. establish a brokerage service between civil society organizations (CSO) and the energy and related modeling communities, transacting research questions and answers and flagging unaddressed issues more generally
  2. seek and select two open energy models spanning Europe with which this community can gain operational experience, followed by other regions as interest allows
  3. build connections with researchers, official agencies, and CSOs in the Global South to facilitate transfer of knowledge and capacity in both directions

The third point is now happening organically with cooperations by at least five open energy system modeling projects. This forum could help accelerate that process by providing a less technical, project independent space for discussion.

Notes and references

1.  CLEWS = Climate, Land, Energy and Water Strategies (or Systems), developed for the Rio+20 conference and now assisting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process.

Morrison, Robbie (20 November 2019). “An open energy system modeling community”. Generation R blog. Hannover, Germany: Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science. doi:10.25815/ff3b-d154. ISSN 2512-3815. Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0 license.

My heartfelt thanks to those who have seen merit in this undertaking and contributed so willingly on just the hint of a concept (BE BV CM CW FR FL JH JH LH NW PO TB). Thanks also to @bvenner for helping establish this site. @robbie.

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