1st Online Lightning Talk Mini-workshop, 26 March 2020

Since many of us are stuck at home due to the corona virus lockdown, I’d like to suggest we try an online lightning talk mini-workshop.

When: Thursday 26th March 2020 for 2.5 hours starting at 1500 UTC (0500 Hawaii (sorry), 0800 California, 1100 New York, 1500 London, 1600 Berlin & Paris, 1700 Jo’burg, 2030 Delhi, 2300 Beijing & Singapore, 0000 Tokyo (sorry), 0200 Sydney (sorry))
What: 13 slots for 6 minute talks + 4 minutes questions/comments. Topic is broadly “open models and data for energy modelling”. For example, you could spread the love for some model, tool, library, or unknown but valuable feature of a library; you could keep everyone updated with developments in open science; or share a success story where open science made an impact.
Who: Anyone can join to listen (up to 300 participants). We’re limited to 13 presentation slots.
How to suggest a talk: Sorry, we’re full!
How to connect: Use Zoom (works for Windozzz, Mac, GNU/Linux, please download, install and test before the workshop), meeting room https://dcu-ie.zoom.us/j/341129483 (NB: updated on Tuesday 24th March), apologies that it’s not free software, but it works very well for group calls. Technical zoom hosting provided by the Energy and Climate Research Network (ECRN) at Dublin City University, with support from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Insight Centre for Data Analytics.
Talk format: Zoom allows you to share your screen with other participants, so you can share your talk slides. We’d appreciate it if you made the slides available beforehand with an open licence like Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0). Details of how to share your slides to follow.

Schedule (UTC, list of talks below)

1500 Start
1500 Introductions
1510 Talks start
1720 Talks finish
1720 Feedback round
1730 Official finish
1730 Meeting will stay open for anyone to continue discussions
1800 Final finish
1800 Hot tip: an Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG) online workshop on Synchronous Condenser and Control System Considerations for Weak Grid Applications, part of a series running over the next few weeks

Talks (in order of presentation)

  1. Greg Schivley, Carbon Impact Consulting. Create capacity expansion model inputs with PowerGenome. Spend less (zero?) time wrangling data, more time answering questions. US only, work in progress. Full release — including all required data — expected this summer.
  2. Daniel Olsen, Intellectual Ventures. U.S. Test System with High Spatial and Temporal Resolution for Renewable Integration Studies. See the preprint.
  3. Neshwin Rodrigues, TERI, Modelling India’s power sector with PyPSA.
  4. Santiago Peñate. HELM in GridCal. Holomorphic Embedding Power Flow - closed vs open science approach.
  5. Clayton Barrows, National Renewable Energy Lab. PowerSimulations.jl - Scalable Power System Optimization in Julia (304.7 KB), also as Jupyter notebook (1.0 MB). Live examples of using PowerSimulations.jl and other dependencies to execute sequential optimal power system scheduling (Production Cost Modeling) simulations.
  6. Nicole Ludwig, KIT. Machine Learning Applications in Energy Systems - A Python Framework (2.3 MB).
  7. Joe DeCarolis, NC State University. An Open Energy Outlook for the United States (1.1 MB). I will provide an overview of this open source energy systems modeling project, and would also like to seek some advice on best practices from the community.
  8. Destenie Nock, Carnegie Mellon, Integrating stakeholder preferences into generation expansion planning models (2.0 MB)
  9. Niclas Mattsson or Lina Reichenberg, Chalmers Uni. An autopilot for energy models – automatic generation of renewable supply curves, hourly capacity factors and hourly synthetic electricity demand for arbitrary world regions (3.7 MB) . See the preprint.
  10. Frauke Wiese, Flensburg Uni. Sufficiency in Energy System Models (3.6 MB).
  11. Evelina Trutnevyte and Jan-Philipp Sasse, UNIGE Geneva. Modelling the regional implications of Central Europe’s electricity sector transition with EXPANSE and PyPSA.
  12. Anya Heider and Ricardo Reibsch, RLS Graduate School. Empirical research on flexibility options in open energy models (363.5 KB). Introduction of survey on flexibility representation in different open energy models or frameworks.
  13. Ralph Evins, University of Victoria. the BESOS platform: Building and Energy Systems Optimization and Surrogate Modelling

Format for each talk

  • The speaker will be moderated into the meeting by @tom_brown.
  • The speaker can share their slides or screen by hovering over the main screen Zoom and clicking “Share” and choosing what they would like to share. Please remember to unmute your microphone and introduce yourself briefly.
  • They can speak for 6 minutes. All other participants will be muted by the moderators during this time.
  • After 5 minutes they will received a “1 minute warning” on audio from @tom_brown.
  • After 6 minutes they will be asked to stop talking by @tom_brown.
  • If they are still speaking after 6.5 minutes, @bmcm will mute them (sorry).
  • To ask questions to the speaker, write your question in the public “Chat”.
  • @robbie.morrison will group similar questions and ask the questioner to put their question over audio to the speaker.
  • After 9.5 minutes @tom_brown will ask everyone to start wrapping up and prepare for the next speaker.
  • If you have further questions for the speaker, please contact them privately or use the open forum at the end of the session.


@tom_brown will moderate the introduction, speakers and wrap-up.
@bmcm will do Zoom hosting duties (managing who’s (un)muted etc).
@robbie.morrison will moderate the questions after each talk, and deal with recording-related questions.


We’d like to record the entire session and, for people who give their consent, make the recordings available after the session under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) to those who were not able to make the meeting. We will try to make a registration page when you log into the meeting where you can give your consent or not. We will not publish anything without the consent of those being recorded. You may withdraw your consent afterwards as well. We will respect the wishes of anyone who asks to delete the recording of them during times when they were talking. We remind all users that the meeting was advertised on a public forum and we cannot stop any participants recording the meeting with screen capture. Please contact @robbie.morrison with questions about the recording.


Since we may be more than 50 people, we have to enforce some rules to respect everyone’s time and attention.

  • We will keep military time and discipline.
  • Download, install and test Zoom before the workshop.
  • Use video if you can.
  • Use a stable internet connection.
  • Don’t talk unless invited to by one of the moderators.
  • Use a headset if you’re talking.
  • When you’re not talking, mute your microphone.
  • If you call with a hurricane in the background, we will mute you.
  • Ask questions in the public “Chat”.

Tom, I’m interested in presenting but can’t figure out how to edit your post.

  1. Greg Schivley, Carbon Impact Consulting. Create capacity expansion model inputs with PowerGenome. Spend less (zero?) time wrangling data, more time answering questions. US only, work in progress. Full release — including all required data — expected this summer.
1 Like

Hmm, is there not an “Edit” button bottom right? I’ve added your talk.

Here’s what I see

OK, I think it’s because you’re a new user. You only had “trust level” 0. I’ve bumped you up to TL 2, and allowed all users with TL 0 to edit wiki posts.
cc @robbie.morrison


Hi Tom - great idea! I’m not able to do a talk for this iteration but hope it goes well - I’ve suggested to one of my students they might want to submit an idea. If the first iteration goes well I’ll try to present something at a future session.

1 Like

It would be great if your student submits something! We’ll try to run it regularly if it’s a success, so don’t worry about missing this first iteration.

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Hi Tom,

I can share the HELM story…
A bit of background and the closed vs open science approach.

Best regards,


Great @SanPen! I’ve added your talk.

Nothing to present (unfortunately), but really glad to attend and to learn a lot from others. Thank you so much Tom!

1 Like

I love the idea, thanks for organising!


I would like to add a talk, but the message “Sorry, new users can only add 2 links in a post” pops up when I try to edit it.

Could you maybe add:
9. Anya Heider and Ricardo Reibsch, RLS Graduate School, Empirical research on flexibility options in open energy models. Introduction of survey on flexibility representation in different open energy models or frameworks.

Thank you in advance!

1 Like


@robbie.morrison: Since we’re screening new users anyway, can we drop all the restrictions for new users?

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If there is still some time left - I can update on Open Decarbonization and USENSYS - capacity expansion model for US.

Hi Oleg, thanks for suggestion! We’re currently overcapacity with 13 talks for the 10 slots - would you mind waiting for the next session? We might do this every 2 weeks, or every 4 weeks.

Hi Tom,
Sure, no problem - good idea to have them regularly!
This is actually two separate topics. If time will allow next time, i can do two short talks, otherwise will try to squeeze to one.

1 Like

Hey @tom_brown, really cool idea during corona times! Talks sound really interesting! Tomorrow, I won’t make, but surely to a follow session if this gonna happen.

Folks, enjoy the session tomorrow!

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I’ll be showing a set of live demo jupyter notebook slides using Rise. My demo is a minor adaptation from some of the notebooks that are available in the SIIPExamples.jl repo.

1 Like

Thanks to all the speakers for making this such a fun session!

A total of 178 people participated at some point, with a simultaneous peak of 145 participants. The average was around 120-30?

@tniet has already volunteered to host the next session in 3 weeks: 2nd Online Lightning Talk Mini-workshop

Feedback we collected from the audience (please edit since I didn’t catch everything - this post is wiki-editable):

  • Consensus was that 6 minutes was about right for the talk length
  • Consensus was that 4 minutes was about right for the time for questions
  • I suggested having a fixed time of 6 minutes for the talk, and a flexible amount of time for the questions depending on how many questions there are (with a ceiling of 8 minutes?) - I can’t remember what the consensus here was
  • Consensus was that 13 talks was about the right number (but I feel it was a touch too many - 10 would have been about right - as host I was quite tired by the end)
  • Consensus was to do the next session in 3 weeks
  • On the question of whether a themed/curated selection of talks was better than the random first-come-first-served selection I think people were split? I didn’t record this properly, sorry…

Things I learned as a host:

  • Moderate the speaker in and confirm that slides and sound are working before handing over to them
  • Thank the speaker at the end to give them a firm finish before handing to moderator for questions
  • The whole fussing about uploading slides, recordings and licencing of slides and recordings is quite a burden on the organiser - I would consider asking the speakers to host screencasts and slides themselves and link to them from the forum - this reduces the burden on the organiser and the speakers can do a perfect version of the talk and even make it longer and more detailed
  • I thought there wouldn’t be that must interest so directly emailed people asking them to speak - if you do this, do it sparingly because you might end up with too many talks :slight_smile:
1 Like

Hi All,

As Tom noted, I am happy to ‘host’ (moderate) the next workshop, but I’d also like to present, so having co-hosts would be very useful… Please reply indicating your interest in co-hosting.

Can we use the same @bmcm DCU zoom (I don’t have access to the enterprise version of zoom)?

I’m going to start a new topic for the next workshop, so please reply in the new topic.


1 Like
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