Openmod workshop in South Africa

Dear Stakeholders

Following the lead from the Open Energy Modelling Initiative, we would like to hold an OpenMod workshop in South Africa. We hope for this to grow into a platform where local analysts and researchers can share modelling approaches and tools, input data and assumptions and study results related to the South African power system.

The accelerating development of open-source energy system modelling tools in recent years has now reached the point where it opens up a credible alternative approach to more costly commercial tools that are often black-box in nature. It is now possible to produce analysis of high quality and to develop a wider participating modelling community, which builds confidence in results by enabling more effective peer review of work and therefore more effective feedback loops. The availability of open source models is also critical to build a consistent stream of new talent entering the space to ensure that energy sector analytical capacity can be retained and steadily expanded in South Africa.

We will be hosting a hybrid in-person and online workshop in Cape Town (venue currently being confirmed) on Friday 28 October from 11am-3pm. This will include lunch for those who are able to attend in person. We are excited to have presentations from the following colleagues:

Professor Tom Brown - professor for Digital Transformation in Energy Systems at the Technische Universität Berlin

Topic area: Experience with Open Energy Modelling, as well as an overview of PyPSA

Mr Max Parzen - Founder of PyPSA meets Earth and PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh

Topic area: Overview of the PyPSA meets Earth initiative

Mr Ronak Mehta - MSc candidate at UCT

Topic area: Multi-node Dispatch Modelling of the South African Power System Using Flextool

Dr Peter Klein - Senior engineer at Meridian Economics

Topic area: Overview of the further development of the PyPSA-ZA model that is in progress

There will also be time for more general open modelling discussions and learning from each other. The aim of this forum is to be broader than just PyPSA and therefore discussions on related open-source tools and data are encouraged.

If you would like to attend this workshop, either in-person or online, please RSVP to by the end of this week so that we can finalise our planning.


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To note some publications related to the open modeling of the South African energy system and surrounding regions are listed here:

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The event start time in various timezones (more information on wikipedia):

Day Date Time Offset Timezone
Friday 28 October 2022 22:00 +1300 NZDT
Friday 28 October 2022 20:00 +1100 AEDT
Friday 28 October 2022 18:00 +0900 JST
Friday 28 October 2022 17:00 +0800 CST
Friday 28 October 2022 16:00 +0700 WIB
Friday 28 October 2022 14:30 +0530 IST (India)
Friday 28 October 2022 13:00 +0400 +04 (UAE)
Friday 28 October 2022 12:00 +0300 MSK
Friday 28 October 2022 12:00 +0300 EAT
Friday 28 October 2022 11:00 +0200 CAT
Friday 28 October 2022 10:00 +0100 WAT
Friday 28 October 2022 11:00 +0200 SAST (South African Standard Time)  
Friday 28 October 2022 11:00 +0200 CEST
Friday 28 October 2022 10:00 +0100 IST (Ireland)
Friday 28 October 2022 10:00 +0100 BST
Friday 28 October 2022 09:00 +0000 UTC
Friday 28 October 2022 05:00 -0400 EDT
Friday 28 October 2022 03:00 -0600 MDT
Friday 28 October 2022 02:00 -0700 PDT
Thursday 27 October 2022 23:00 -1000 HST
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Just a brief and unofficial follow up. The event ran well and some of the material presented will be available online in due course.

One comment resonated with me. @PeterKlein11 said one reason for opting for open source tooling over commercial software was to “unleash masters and PhD students” on the multitude of energy problems that South Africa faces.

Also of interest was an earlier study that showed that the addition of 6 GW of renewables capacity to the South African electricity system actually reduced the level of loadshedding required.

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Both the slides and video from my talk “Open Energy Modelling: Discussion & Examples from PyPSA Modelling for Europe” are available under CC BY 4.0.

Text and images licensed under CC BY 4.0Data licensed under CC0 1.0Code licensed under MITSite terms of serviceOpenmod mailing listOpenmod wiki. Openmod YouTube.