Open energy system modelling in Africa and project launch of PyPSA meets Africa – Webinar

Dear openmodders,

Keen to learn more about open energy system modelling in #Africa? :earth_africa: Don’t miss our webinar featuring #4 African energy leaders, #1 European open code and data thought leader and #1 new open source project launch!

We have assembled an excellent panel to discuss and share thoughts on open energy system modelling in Africa through examining the current state of art and future opportunities. We are honoured to welcome our panellists Stefan Pfenninger, Khalid Salim, Tom Rwahama, Jarrad Wright and Dr. (Iya) Aminu Haruna Isa. We will also introduce our new African open energy system modelling project “PyPSA meets Africa” which is currently under development.

Upcoming Thursday, 29.04.2021 between 13:00-14:20 BST/UTC+1
You can register here to participate in Zoom. The session will be recorded and shared afterwards.
How you can support this event?
You could share it on LinkedIn or similar.

More information on PyPSA meets Africa
Some more information on our PyPSA meets Africa project can be found here (moving soon to another website). The aim is to ship a first prototype model based on PyPSA for the African continent (and likely some part of the arabian peninsula) by end of this year. Please, feel free to reach out to me for any questions. We are also always looking for collaborators.

Best wishes,

Start time in other timezones

  • Fri 30-Apr-2021 00:00 +1200 (NZST)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 22:00 +1000 (AEST)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 17:30 +0530 (IST) (India)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 15:00 +0300 (MSK)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 14:00 +0200 (CEST)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 13:00 +0100 (IST) (Ireland)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 13:00 +0100 (BST)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 12:00 +0000 (UTC)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 08:00 -0400 (EDT)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 06:00 -0600 (MDT)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 05:00 -0700 (PDT)
  • Thu 29-Apr-2021 02:00 -1000 (HST)
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Follow up

This reply is for posting follow up information for the event. The session was recorded and the resulting video should be uploaded to YouTube in due course.

The 12 slides from Stefan Pfenninger are listed below.


Pfenninger, Stefan (29 April 2021). Energy system modelling: intro and why openness matters — Presentation. Delft, the Netherlands: Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, TU Delft. Webinar on Open Energy System Modelling in Africa.


Open datasets for Africa

The UK‑based Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) program is offering data starter kits for Africa. Climate Compatible Growth is a research-based programme funded by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Here are some pointers:

The countries covered comprise: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Rep, Cote d,Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

I just check the Zenodo entry for Kenya, the license is CC0‑1.0:

Some runs on the board, I guess, but still a long journey to fully fledged databases suitable for building national and continental energy system models.

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Recording is now available at YouTube:

We had a look into the CCG data & consider to use some of the techno-economic data for each country. In general, I guess the data is good to validate. Important for sufficient long-term use are databases that are constantly updated (& easy to update - OSM?). We have some more insight on that over the next months.

IRENA webinar on eastern and southern Africa

IRENA ran a webinar on 11 May 2021 (yesterday) on modeled analysis for eastern and southern Africa. Indeed, IRENA and partners have settled on a “common modeling tool”, namely the SPLAT and MESSAGE combination. As a participant, I thought the work was well conceived and executed. SPLAT is for generating scenarios and MESSAGE is a long‑standing energy system planning tool, if I understood correctly.

One thing that was notable was that a number of the questions settled on openness. For the record, MESSAGE is “open access” in the sense that one can inspect the source after agreeing to certain conditions.

Here are the various artifacts from that webinar:

An interesting dynamic, as I see it, will be how the various modeling exercises, some more “official” than others, play out in the future.

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Germany is interested in partnering with west African countries on green hydrogen production. The local market would be supplied preferentially, while the social and ecological criteria still need to be refined and written into official policy.

New webinar on PyPSA meets Africa

Dear openmodders,
If you are interested in open source, energy system modelling, and “AI data creation from satellites” then please join our open webinar. We are happy to update you on our developments.

Our slides and recording:
Webinar: "PyPSA meets Africa - An open energy system model initiative for Africa (& the World)"
Time: 01 October 2021, 13-14:00 UK-time
Event format: 40min presentation, 20min (Q&A)


PyPSA meets Africa is the largest non-funded open energy system modelling initiative in Africa. It aims to develop GIS-based open-source planning tools to guide energy system relevant policy, industry and research decision making. Since being founded in early 2021, more than 40 international members contributing to keep the initiative long-term sustainable and to develop a model prototype by end of 2021.

Recently, institutions such as the World Resource Institute, the German Aerospace Agency and many others are trying to join consortiums around the initiative. They believe in the power of open-source like we do. Together, we make open energy system models an alternative to proprietary tools that are equally reliable and maybe even better.


  • Matin Mahmood (Core contributor, University of Edinburgh)
  • Lukas Franken (AI WP lead, University of Edinburgh)
  • Davide Fioriti (Core contributor, University of Pisa)
  • Maximilian Parzen (Director of Initiative, University of Edinburgh)


  • Energy system modelling in Africa
  • Simulation vs. optimisation
  • Black vs. opaque vs. open box software
  • PyPSA-Africa - An open digital twin of energy systems that can be optimised
  • What we do
  • Deep dive. Creating data from satellite images by AI detection
  • How international collaboration with open source can work?
  • Big projects ahead
  • How to contribute?
  • Q&A (20+ min)

More information:
Visit our new website for more information on our initiative:

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