A thread on the openmod mailing list in early‑2021 sought information on power plants globally by installed capacity, commissioning date, geographic location (or country or region), thermal efficiency (or heat rate), annual production, and average CO2 emissions intensity (or annual CO2 emissions):
It seemed therefore useful to collect some of the information sources provided. The following resources are sorted first by role and then by chronology. If background information is available elsewhere via links, say on Wikipedia EN, then it is not duplicated here.
Of course energy systems are more than simply lists of power plants, but that information is often a starting point for assessing national and global decarbonization potentials.
Not all the information below is strictly open data. Some falls into an unfortunate gray zone covered by unwritten not‑to‑sue arrangements — something that European grid operators could fix in an instant by adopting CC‑BY‑4.0 licensing.
I do not think it good practice of continually fork, harvest, and locally enhance this kind of data without mechanisms for propagating useful changes back upstream. Moreover I think that more than about two hops in public is not useful either. Much of the effort below would indeed benefit from being treated as contributing to a genuine common resource and not just something to grab to get the research questions at hand resolved. Work on higher‑level data models, ontologies, and metadata are not included here but nonetheless forms part of the wider information jigsaw.
Compiling lists of energy system assets is not necessarily that straightforward:
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. Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0.
Gotzens, Fabian, Heidi Heinrichs, Jonas Hörsch, and Fabian Hofmann (1 January 2019). “Performing energy modelling exercises in a transparent way: the issue of data quality in power plant databases”. Energy Strategy Reviews. 23: 1–12. ISSN 2211-467X. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2018.11.004. Creative Commons CC‑BY‑NC‑ND‑4.0.
Byers, Logan, Johannes Friedrich, Roman Hennig, Aaron Kressig, Xinyue Li, Laura Malaguzzi Valeri, and Colin McCormick (April 2018). A global database of power plants — Technical note. Washington DC, USA: World Resources Institute (WRI). Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0. Landing page.
Wikipedia EN has an article covering open energy system databases:
Under the terminology adopted here, data portals are intended to be maintained — whereas snapshots are not.
OPSD is Open Power System Data and, among other things, covers power plants in Europe:
- Release Announcement: Global Power Plant Database (WRI, Google, and many others)
Global Electrification Platform
The Global Electrification Platform (GEP), led by the World Bank Group and ESMAP, offers a global portal and also covers grid assets. The associated grid planning model is OnSSET but other frameworks can be supported. More information:
PowerGenome is a tool to quickly and easily create inputs for power systems models:
- Schivley, Greg (26 March 2020). Create capacity expansion model inputs with PowerGenome. Open Energy Modelling Initiative (openmod). MP4 webcast 00:10:55.
Open Energy Outlook
The Open Energy Outlook is a project confined to the United States that began in 2020. The project input data is stored in an SQLite database. The evolving documentation comprises a set of jupyter notebooks that themselves are a combination of markdown text, embedded SQL queries to render input tables, and code to create graphviz network diagrams.
- DeCarolis, Joe (24 December 2020). An Open Energy Outlook for the United States powered by TEMOA. Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: NC State University. YouTube video 15:16. Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0.
Specific studies and snapshots
Reports often archive their datasets for reasons of transparency and reproducibility:
Jones, Dave (March 2020). Global electricity review. London, United Kingdom: Ember (previously Sandbag). Landing page. Report under full copyright. Datasets available but not licensed.
Kanellopoulos, Kostis, Matteo De Felice, Ignacio Hidalgo, A Bocin, and A Uihlein (2019). The Joint Research Centre power plant database (JRC-PPDB) — Version 0.9 — EUR 29806 EN. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. ISBN 978-92-76-08849-3. doi:10.2760/5281. Catalogue number KJ-NA-29806-EN-N. Reuse according to Commission Decision 2011/833/EU. Database archive on Zenodo. Dataset files licenced Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0.
World Resources Institute (June 2019). CSV dataset version — 1.2.0. Use to initially stock the PowerExplorer portal (listed above).
Data tooling (for want of a better term) is an empty or populated dataset and code providing a fully‑connected electricity network model and offering additional functionality. That functionality may include integrity checks, simple electrical engineering calculations, and sophisticated storage management. The tooling also collects the results during and following a model run. It may also provide standard and bespoke reports and visualizations.
PowerSystems.jl offers much of the functionality just outlined and is written in the julia language. The associated dataset library project is called PowerSystemCaseBuilder.jl. More here:
Wikipedia supports the infobox power station template which automatically propagates its contents to Wikidata. An example of the kind of information available is indicated on the Drax power station article. (If anyone has made use of this facility, could they maybe comment below?)
Finally, if there are other resources or thoughts, perhaps people could mention them in reply?