Openmod organising a workshop at Energy Day 2017 in Prague?

Dear open modders - Czech Technical University in Prague and Charles University are planning the ENERGY DAYS 2017. I had a keynote there last year and promoted the open modellers. That’s why they asked me to organise a workshop as part of the Energy days this year. Do we want to do it as openmod?

Main goal of theEnergy Day 2017 is to connect academic researchers and energy providers, traders and operators. The workshop will focus on using modern optimization, statistical and computational methods suitable for analysis of big data, creation of advanced forecast models for both deterministic and probabilistic prediction, development of new optimization methods for energy leak management, environmental quality improvement, etc.
This workshop will be devoted to recent advances in both modelling and algorithmisation. The workshop is highly interdisciplinary. One of the goals is to bring together experts from the fields of (in alphabet order)
• computer science and high performance computing
• energy economics
• energy providers and operators
• energy system modelling
• mathematics
• operations research
• statistics

Please give feedback if you agree to appear there as openmod and if you are interested to join organising it.

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@berit.mueller: Are you able to add some web links and dates so we can explore the background to your proposal a little more easily? Also, what would the topic of your workshop be? Thanks.

I am going to sit on the fence at this point and watch the discussion evolve. Although I do have some preliminary observations:

Most, if not all, the current open energy system models are aimed primarily at public policy development, moreover, many are long haul, casting forth decades. So, on the face of it, there seems relatively little overlap between the current set of open models and the numerical needs of “energy providers, traders, and operators”. That is not to say that our mailing list does not have people specifically interested in these kinds of operational models, it does, just that they have not been a focus for the community so far. Katrin Schaber from a German Stadtwerk (municipal energy company) presented on the topic at the first openmod workshop (Schaber 2014), but as far as I know, this is the only time these kinds of operational models have been discussed.

I take it that “energy providers, traders, and operators” are normally commercial organizations. Which brings up the interesting question of the role and integration of open source software by such organizations.

Companies are increasingly mixing open source, in-house, and proprietary source code and libraries, as open source software becomes increasingly viable and sophisticated and as legal knowledge about open source licensing grows. Meeke (2017) discusses these issues at length, primarily from a US perspective. She notes that open source licensing provisions only trip when a (for-profit or non-profit) organization decides to further distribute the software in question — otherwise an organization, including an operator, trader, or consultancy, can, from an open source perspective, mix open and closed source code as much as they wish as long as the resulting model remains in-house. Notwithstanding, SaaS (software as a service) provision complicates things, when an organization offers software services “on demand” over the internet (the GNU AGPL was designed to specifically address this point).

If the Open Energy Modelling Initiative does decide to have a presence at the Prague meeting, then perhaps we should develop a draft position on the integration of open source software within commercial organizations, in this case, for operational energy models. That way we would have something to contribute, beyond simply flying our flag.

Incidentally, Meeke (2017) is highly recommended (and inexpensive), particularly for those trying to understand how GNU GPL licenses (GPL versions 2 and 3 and also their LGPL and AGPL cousins) work in practice, at least as far as current US statute and case law allows. My guess is that much of the underlying legal analysis would apply to Europe, but with further local interpretation required. On that note, try Jaeger and Metzger (2016) (beyond my German comprehension unfortunately).


Jaeger, Till, and Axel Metzger. (21 March 2016). Open Source Software: Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen der Freien Software [Open source software: legal framework for free software] (4th ed). CH Beck. ISBN 978-340667773-1.

Meeke, Heather. (4 April 2017). Open (source) for business: a practical guide to open source software licensing (2nd ed). North Charleston, South Carolina, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-154473764-5.

Schaber-2014, Katrin. (18 September 2014). Energiesystemmodelle: Taxonomie [Energy system models: taxonomy]. Munich, Germany: Stadtwerk München. Zip file.

Sorry date should be in the first thread:
26-28 Oct. 2017 (thursday to saturday)
The current idea for the workshop on satirday (morning) is:
October 28th, 2017 (Saturday) – Open Modelling workshop
More than open code and open data (how can workflows be made transparent; collaborative model development; best practice on documentations, etc.)
Tools to support open science in energy system modelling (free software for versioning, sharing; open databases; open data formats; common language, glossary for technical terms, etc.)
There is no link yet because that is under discussion.
The second Partner who is organising an other WS at the Energy Day is DLR

I won’t be able to make it to Prague then, but I think it would be nice to have it under the “openmod” name if there are enough people there from the community.

PyPSA has had interest from private companies, including traders, for shorter-term grid modelling, including a code contribution from someone working for a private company. I don’t see why the involvement of people outside academia could be a problem. Many are on the list and come to the workshops.

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