Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Can open source development drive energy transition? PyPSA-Earth experience

The energy transition implies making decisions under deep uncertainties. Modelling is known to be effective in providing the evidence needed to shape the transformation of the energy sector in the most cost-effective way. Open source is a known approach to increase accessibility of the energy modelling tools. That led to a rapid increase in a number of available energy models whose development is mainly driven by the academic community. However, developments have focused on a few world regions, where awareness of climate change is high. There is still a coverage gap, especially for countries where the energy sector is still highly dependent on fossil fuels.

PyPSA meets Earth initiative aims to address this gap by building a global community focused on developing an ecosystem of Pythonic tools, including the modelling framework PyPSA-Earth. The framework may be utilised to build a ready-to-use regional power system model by extracting all the required data in a workflow orchestrated by Snakemake. A community approach enables the participation of regional experts in the development and brings modelling closer to real-life applications.

One of the issues found along this route was the lack of ready-to-use tools to integrate the effects of climate change into power system models. A climate development track in PyPSA-Earth addresses this task and aims to implement approaches to account for changes of climate inputs in a physically correct, yet computationally feasible way. To deal with the regional features of national power systems in a systematic way, a country-wise functionality testing has been carried out. As a result, PyPSA-Earth has been adjusted to be fully capable of building a power system model for any country in the world by a single line of code.

The presentation will give an overview of the challenges encountered along this way and guide trough the use cases of PyPSA-Earth to tackle the challenges of the energy transition around the globe.


Photo of Ekaterina Fedotova Ekaterina Fedotova