4rd Online Lightning Talk Mini-workshop

This topic describes the fourth openmod online workshop. The format will be similar to the previous three online workshops: first, second, third.

The theme is broadly:

      News about open global datasets for energy system modeling


Status : successful event with circa 58 participants, videos to be edited and uploaded to YouTube in due course

Jump to : Table summarizing presentations

When : Wednesday 05 May 2021 13:00 +0000 (UTC) for 2 hours plus 30 minutes informal time. See here for other timezones.

What : 10 slots for 6 minute talks + 4 minutes questions/comments.

Who : Anyone can join to listen (up to 300 participants) but registration is required. We’re limiting the event to 10 presentation slots to keep the length reasonable.

How to suggest a talk : Scroll down and add your talk to the list. That post is a so‑called wikipost that can be edited by anyone registered with the forum.

How to connect : Use Zoom — works for Windozzz, Mac, and GNU/Linux. But please install and test your client before the workshop. Apologies that this is not free software, but it works very well for group calls. Zoom hosting will be provided by the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering – INATECH, University of Freiburg, Germany: https://www.inatech.uni-freiburg.de/en

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 make your slides available to the organizers beforehand. And preferably with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license at your discretion.


How to register : The following private page contains the URL needed to register with Zoom — although you will need to be registered with this forum in order to access that page:


CEST timezone used.

Time Role
15:00 Start
15:00 Introductions
15:10 Talks start
16:50 Talks finish
16:50 Feedback/Open forum 
17:00 Official finish
17:30 Final finish

Start time in other timezones

Day Date Local  Offset  Timezone     
Thursday 06 May 2021 01:00 +1200 NZST
Wednesday 05 May 2021 23:00 +1000 AEST
Wednesday 05 May 2021 18:30 +0530 IST (India)
Wednesday 05 May 2021 16:00 +0300 MSK
Wednesday 05 May 2021 15:00 +0200 CEST
Wednesday 05 May 2021 14:00 +0100 IST (Ireland)
Wednesday 05 May 2021 14:00 +0100 BST
Wednesday 05 May 2021 13:00 +0000 UTC
Wednesday 05 May 2021 09:00 -0400 EDT
Wednesday 05 May 2021 07:00 -0600 MDT
Wednesday 05 May 2021 06:00 -0700 PDT
Wednesday 05 May 2021 03:00 -1000 HST

List of talks

See wikipost below.

Technical information

Format for each talk

  • The speaker will be moderated into the meeting by the timekeeper
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and introduce yourself briefly
  • The speaker can share their slides or screen by hovering over the main Zoom screen, clicking “Share”, and selecting what they would like to share
  • 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 the timekeeper
  • After 6 minutes they will be asked to stop talking by the timekeeper
  • If they are still speaking after 6.5 minutes, the timekeeper will mute them (sorry)
  • To ask questions to the speaker, write your question in the public “Chat”
  • The question moderator will group similar questions and ask the questioner to put their question over audio to the speaker
  • After 9.5 minutes the timekeeper will ask everyone to start wrapping up and prepare for the next speaker
  • If you have further questions for the speaker, please use the open forum at the end of the formal session or contact them privately


Session recording and publication

We will record the entire session. For people who provide their consent, we will make the recordings available after the session under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. We will not publish anything personally identifiable without that consent. You may withdraw your consent after the event is complete but prior to publication We will respect the wishes of anyone who asks to delete the recordings of themselves. We also remind participants that the organizers cannot prevent attendees from recording the meeting privately using screen capture software.

Please contact @robbie.morrison if you have questions about the recording, editing, and publication processes. The openmod YouTube channel URL and other details of that service can be found here:

House rules

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

  • We will keep military time and discipline
  • Download, install and test Zoom before the workshop
  • Please use video if you can
  • Use a stable internet connection
  • Don’t talk unless invited to by one of the moderators
  • Best to 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”

List of talks

This was a wikipost editable by anyone registered with the forum.

Both the program and the order of the talks are now frozen.

Summary table

The following table summarizes the presentations and indicates start times based on 10 minute intervals.

Talks 4 and 7 will not be uploaded to YouTube.

Times in CEST +0200.

No Start   Presenter Title
15:00 Jan Unnewehr, Robbie Morrison Introduction
1 15:10 Maarten Brinkerink Building and Calibrating a Country-Level Detailed Global Electricity Model Based on Public Data
2 15:20 Sylvain Quoilin The Dispa‑SET Africa model
3 15:30 Dan Stowell A harmonised, high-coverage, open dataset of solar photovoltaic installations in the UK
4 15:40 Christopher Arderne Predictive mapping of the global power system using open data
5 15:50 Leon Schwenk‑Nebbe Dataset: A proxy for historical CO2 emissions related to centralised electricity generation in Europe
16:00 Coffee break
6 16:10 Jan Diettrich Open European gas transmission network data set (SciGRID_gas)
7 16:20 Jacques de Chalendar Tracking emissions in the US electricity system
8 16:30 Jan Unnewehr, Mirko Schäfer Carbon intensity of electricity production — new approach for dynamic grid emission factors
9 16:40 Oleg Lugovoy, Shuo Gao merra2ools: MERRA‑2 subset and R‑package for evaluation of renewables on 0.5° lat × 0.625° lon global grid, 1980–2020 hourly
10 16:50 Fabian Hofmann atlite: A Lightweight Python Package for Calculating Renewable Power Potentials and Time Series
17:00 Jan Unnewehr Feedback

Full submissions

  1. Maarten Brinkerink. “Building and Calibrating a Country-Level Detailed Global Electricity Model Based on Public Data”. An introduction to PLEXOS-World - a detailed global power system model - and the associated datasets. The presentation will consist of a brief overview of the model development and some application examples. I’ll furthermore touch upon how we deal with openness of data, methods and model. Paper in Energy Strategy Reviews. Data set and Model. Brinkerink et al (2021).

  2. Sylvain Quoilin. “The Dispa-SET Africa model”. This recently-released open-source, open-data power system model covers the whole African continent. The presentation will focus on the main challenges with regard to data availability, the modeling approach and the potential for future developments and collaborative research. Paper in Energy. Pavičević et al (2021).

  3. Dan Stowell. “A harmonised, high-coverage, open dataset of solar photovoltaic installations in the UK”. We present the results of a major crowd-sourcing campaign to create open geographic data for over 260,000 solar PV installations across the UK, covering an estimated 86% of the capacity in the country. Our approach is designed to support high-resolution solar power forecasting to reduce the carbon impact of electricity grids. The method is applied to the UK but applicable worldwide. We will describe the dataset as well as the community process we used (OpenStreetMap). Paper in Nature Scientific Data. Stowell et al (2020).

  4. Christopher Arderne. “Predictive mapping of the global power system using open data”. In many regions, electrical grid data is hard to find, outdated or inaccurate. This presented challenges for government and private planners, and anyone interested in understanding the distribution of infrastructure and the needs for on- and off-grid investments. Using satellite imagery and some big assumptions, we can make estimates about where the grid is likely to be. It’s only accurate enough for high-level investigation, but it’s just useful enough while we wait for ground-truth data to catch up. Paper in Nature Scientific Data. - Gridfinder, Github. Arderne et al (2020).

  5. Leon J. Schwenk-Nebbe. “Dataset: A proxy for historical CO2 emissions related to centralised electricity generation in Europe”. Paper in Data in Brief. Schwenk‑Nebbe et al (2021).

  6. Jan C. Diettrich. “Open European gas transmission network data set (SciGRID_gas)”. We present the results of our three year project that aimed at generating an open data set of the European gas transmission network. Component types include pipelines, compressors, storages and LNG terminals for static gas flow modelling. A large number of different data sources had to be gathered and merged. As not all data sources were publicly available, those data set locations and our soon to be open SciGRID_gas Python code will also be discussed briefly, so that anyone can generate the best possible network data set, including copy right restricted data. Data.

  7. Jacques A. de Chalendar. “Tracking emissions in the US electricity system” To encourage and guide decarbonization efforts, better tools are needed to monitor real-time electricity system emissions from electricity consumption, production, imports, and exports. Until now, time-intensive, ad-hoc and manual data verification strategies are used to prepare the data for quantitative analysis. As an alternative to existing techniques, this work introduces a physics-informed framework to greatly accelerate and automate such procedures and enable the availability of internally consistent electric system operating data available in real-time, for the benefit of policy makers, private sector actors and researchers. The effectiveness of the framework is demonstrated by applying it to an example data set for the continental United States electricity network; emissions for electricity consumption, production and exchanges are also computed. The method that was developed in this work was implemented in a software system that updates this data set hourly. Paper in PNAS. Github, Visualization. de Chalender et al (2019).

  8. Jan Unnewehr, Mirko Schäfer. “Carbon intensity of electricity production - new approach for dynamic grid emission factors”. Dynamic grid emission factors provide a temporally resolved signal about the carbon intensity of electricity generation in the power system. Since actual emission measurements are usually lacking, such a signal has to be derived from given system-specific emission factors combined with power generation time series. We present a bottom-up methodology, which allows to derive per country and technology emission factors for European countries based on power plant generation time series and reported emissions from the EU ETS mechanism. The resulting historical per country carbon intensity of electricity generation is compared with corresponding values from a top-down approach, which uses statistical data on emissions and power generation on national scales.

  9. Oleg Lugovoy, Shuo Gao. “merra2ools: MERRA-2 subset and R-package for evaluation of renewables on 0.5° lat x 0.625° lon global grid, 1980-2020 hourly”. Data in Dryad, R-package.

  10. Fabian Hofmann. “atlite: A Lightweight Python Package for Calculating Renewable Power Potentials and Time Seriesatlite is an open Python software package for retrieving global historical weather data (ERA5/SARAH-2) and converting it to power generation potentials and time series for renewable energy technologies like wind turbines or solar photovoltaic panels. It further provides weather-dependent output on the demand side like building heating demand and heat pump performance. Using xarray, dask and rasterio, the software is optimized to aggregate data over multiple large regions with user-defined weightings, e.g. based on land use eligibility constraints. https://github.com/PyPSA/atlite.

Withdrawn submissions

[was and replaced by a short coffee break] 6. Adam Pluta. “A Python Library to Efficiently Extract OpenStreetMap Data”. Paper in Journal of Open Research Software. Puta and Lünsdorf (2020).

Cited papers

A not‑necessarily complete list of cited papers.

Arderne, C, C Zorn, C Nicolas, and EE Koks (15 January 2020). “Predictive mapping of the global power system using open data”. Scientific Data. 7 (1): 19. ISSN 2052-4463. doi:10.1038/s41597-019-0347-4. CC‑BY‑4.0 license.

Brinkerink, Maarten, Brian Ó Gallachóir, and Paul Deane (1 January 2021). “Building and calibrating a country-level detailed global electricity model based on public data”. Energy Strategy Reviews. 33: 100592. ISSN 2211-467X. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2020.100592. CC‑BY‑4.0 license.

de Chalendar, Jacques A, John Taggart, and Sally M Benson (17 December 2019). “Tracking emissions in the US electricity system”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116 (51): 25497–25502. ISSN 0027-8424. doi:10.1073/pnas.1912950116. CC‑BY‑NC‑ND‑4.0 license.

Pavičević, Matija, Matteo De Felice, Sebastian Busch, Ignacio Hidalgo González, and Sylvain Quoilin (1 August 2021). “Water-energy nexus in African power pools – the Dispa-SET Africa model”. Energy. 228: 120623. ISSN 0360-5442. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2021.120623. Closed access.

Pluta, Adam and Ontje Lünsdorf (1 September 2020). “esy-osmfilter – a Python library to efficiently extract OpenStreetMap data”. Journal of Open Research Software. 8 (1): 19. ISSN 2049-9647. doi:10.5334/jors.317. CC‑BY‑4.0 license.

Schwenk‑Nebbe, Leon Joachim, Marta Victoria, and Gorm Bruun Andresen (1 June 2021). “Dataset: a proxy for historical CO2 emissions related to centralised electricity generation in Europe”. Data in Brief. 36: 107016. ISSN 2352-3409. doi:10.1016/j.dib.2021.107016. CC‑BY‑4.0 license.

Stowell, Dan, Jack Kelly, Damien Tanner, Jamie Taylor, Ethan Jones, James Geddes, and Ed Chalstrey (13 November 2020). “A harmonised, high-coverage, open dataset of solar photovoltaic installations in the UK”. Scientific Data. 7 (1): 394. ISSN 2052-4463. doi:10.1038/s41597-020-00739-0. CC‑BY‑4.0 license.


Guidelines for presenters and participants

Presenters when preparing slide decks, please note:

  • a 16:9 ratio will match the recorded video while a 4:3 ratio is acceptable but less preferred
  • an open license is optional, but if applied, the license notice should follow the guidelines immediately below
  • a presenter may embargo their video for a period of time — perhaps due to publication options elsewhere
  • only presentations with open licenses will be uploaded to the openmod YouTube channel
  • presenters will be asked by email to approve their video recording prior to uploading to YouTube
  • the organizers cannot prevent participants from locally recording or taking screenshots during a presentation

Participants should similarly note:

  • on registration, each participant will be asked to optionally consent to having their contributions made public under a CC‑BY‑4.0 license
  • if a participant asks a question and has not duly consented, any personally identifying information (PII) will be edited out but the question and answer will remain where possible

Open license notices

For content, the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 or CC‑BY‑4.0 license is generally recommended by advisory boards. This example uses that license. You may choose another one

Legal requirements as follows:

  • the copyright holder needs to be identified
  • the year of publication needs to be stated
  • the open license selected needs to be advised

Furthermore, the above information:

  • should be present on the first slide
  • can be written into the file metadata where appropriate
  • can be optionally duplicated on each slide

The copyright holder is the person (or persons) who prepared the material. In some cases, that copyright will automatically transfer to the author’s employer. If unsure, check with your institution to confirm the policy that applies relative to your employment status.

At the minimum therefore, your title slide should contain the following information:

You may include material in your presentation from a third‑party source that has not been released under the open license you select, but you will need to mark that material as such. Use of that material is also determined by the licensing terms, if any, applied by the original copyright holder and also applicable governing law in regard to fair use or statutory exceptions.

The Creative Commons license chooser wizard gives more information and can generate notices with embedded URLs:

I have to drop our second talk (9. Shuo Gao, Oleg Lugovoy “Open source version of China’s electric power province level (CEPRO) technological, capacity expansion, optimization model”. Paper in Energy Economics.) since my colleague won’t be able to participate.

Hey Oleg,

it is a pity that you can’t give your talk. But maybe we will do another workshop in the future where we will present current model results.

See you at the workshop, Freddy

Hi Jan & all,
I took the liberty to insert a talk about Dispa-SET Africa in second position because it is very much in line with the PLEXOS-World presentation. This is only a suggestion, of course!

Hey Sylvain, I’ m happy that you take the initiative. We will mange 11 talks tomorrow. I look forward to your presentation tomorrow.

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