Services run by the Open Energy Modelling Initiative
This page/topic contains an inventory of the internet services run by the Open Energy Modelling Initiative (openmod) and related legal matters. It also covers our personal privacy policies and the obligations, if any, that arise from the European GDPR. The information is provided in the interests of transparency. The Open Energy Modelling Initiative is not incorporated under law and cannot hold domain name registrations, copyrights, and the like in its own name.
The Open Energy Modelling Initiative offers a number of internet services and there is clearly some overlap between the various functions. There is therefore some discretion as to where a particular discussion might best occur and where persistent information should be added. Participants can use their judgment. But technical threads should generally migrate from the mailing list to the forum when the traffic involved grows. Furthermore, other participants are more likely to return to and comment on a forum topic than a mailing list thread.
Almost all the information contained here is public knowledge in some form and can be verified through websites, internet searches, and the use of command-line internet query tools like
These are services (excepting the website and YouTube channel) that openmod participants would normally subscribe to in order to engage with the community. Each service is independent and uses its own authentication system, including passwords.
Users should supply accurate details when signing on unless other considerations arise. In particular, we strongly encourage users to register with their real names when prompted. In all cases, you will need to supply a functioning email address.
|website||https://openmod-initiative.org||188.8.131.52||Neue Medien Muennich GmbH|
|wiki||https://wiki.openmod-initiative.org||184.108.40.206||energypedia consult UG|
|mailing list||https://groups.google.com/g/openmod-initiative||—||Google Groups|
The openmod website codebase is hosted on GitHub as part of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative account on that platform (see below). The website is modest and relatively static and is intended to act as a gateway. While not strictly a participation service, the website is listed here because it fits alongside the wiki and the forum. The HTML markup for the website can be cloned locally and modified by anybody. A pull request is required to update the site however (see below for the administrators). The HTML markup is hand crafted and dedicated web authoring software is not required.
The openmod wiki is hosted on the energypedia server free-of-charge, although the openmod does occasionally contribute content to energypedia in lieu. The wiki runs the MediaWiki software but lacks the range of templates (similar to macros) that Wikipedia provides, for example. Registering for the wiki requires a short bio and is subject to approval by an administrator.
The openmod forum uses the discourse software and runs from a hosted commercial service provided by DiscourseHosting.com. Like the wiki, registration is subject to approval and may require that an applicant describe their interest and background. We do ask that you provide your proper name when registering, although you are welcome to use a pseudonym for your login. The forum is funded is by ad‑hoc donations from the community.
Originally the forum ran on private hosting that Tom Brown otherwise used for scientific outreach projects using infrastructure leased from Hetzner Online. Some technical details can be found in his introductory post. The forum commenced during January 2017, while most of the other openmod internet services were established at the outset back in October 2014. The forum later migrated to DiscourseHosting on 9 January 2021 as indicated in this thread. It was during that changeover that the shorter domain was adopted (lacking the “initiative”) and the licensing consents extended to include dedicated licenses for open data and open source code.
Forum posts cannot be completely deleted from the forum history by regular users but they can be disabled.
Privacy matters are discussed further here: https://forum.openmod.org/privacy
The openmod mailing list is hosted free-of-charge by Google Groups. A google account is necessary to register (otherwise see here), but any kind of email address can be used to sign up. The mailing list is public, archived, and indexed by search engines. As of January 2021, the mailing list numbers around 800 participants. The list of members is available, together with partially-truncated email addresses. Registration under an alias is possible if you need anonymity, but real names are preferred. Your email address will remain visible to the administrators.
As of May 2019, anonymous browsing appears to require that the user be logged in with their google account and not in private or incognito mode — although, of course, explicit registration to the mailing list is not necessary.
The openmod YouTube account was reactivated in 2020 after being established in 2015 and falling into disuse.
While not an openmod service, some openmod participants informally maintain a wikipedia page describing the openmod initiative. Anyone may edit wikipedia.
The Open Energy Modelling Initiative is registered for several internet services under its own username. The individuals responsible are listed later. These are not services that participants can register for or use directly.
|email address||mailto:email@example.com||Neue Medien Muennich GmbH||use of mailing list preferred|
The openmod GitHub account primarily holds the openmod website HTML. It also contains an historical presentation and a toolkit for openmod administration. Stefan Pfenninger is the lead person for this account, although all administrators have the same level of privilege.
The openmod twitter account is used occasionally. It was created in October 2014 and is public.
The openmod email address mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org is monitored but people are encouraged to register and use the mailing list instead.
Each of the internet services listed above was established by different people at different times to meet different needs, some pressing and some in anticipation. As of August 2018, the following people are responsible for these services.
|Service||First tier||Second tier||Comment|
|website||Ingmar||see GitHub entry||TMG person is Jörn|
|wiki||Ingmar||Jörn Lion Martin Simon Stefan Tom||TMG person required?|
|forum||Robbie||Max Leo||see about page|
|mailing list||Ingmar Tom||Berit Jörn||Ingmar and Tom are owners|
|GitHub||Stefan||Ingmar Tim Tom||all have the same admin rights|
|email address||Ingmar||Berit Jörn||use of mailing list preferred|
|YouTube||Ingmar||Buddi Jens Wided Robbie|
Full names as follows:
- Berit Müller @berit.mueller
- Charitha Buddhika Heendeniya @buddih09
- Ingmar Schlecht @ingmar.schlecht
- Jens Weibezahn @jens.weibezahn
- Jörn Richstein —
- Leo Hofbauer @leonhard.hofbauer
- Lion Hirth @Lion
- Martin Glauer @mglauer
- Max Parzen @MaxParzen
- Robbie Morrison @robbie.morrison
- Simon Sawatzki —
- Stefan Pfenninger @stefan.pfenninger
- Sylvain Quoilin @sylvain
- Tim Tröndle @timtroendle
- Tom Brown @tom_brown
- Wided Medjroubi @wided
Under German broadcast media law (Telemediengesetz or TMG), websites run by organizations based in Germany (setting aside the question of whether the Open Energy Modelling Initiative would thus qualify) and irrespective of their top-level domain name have to include an Impressum and nominate a legally responsible person. Hence the TMG comments in the above table.
The Open Energy Modelling Initiative indirectly controls the following internet domain names. These domains are held by Lion Hirth on behalf of the openmod in either a private capacity or through his consulting practice neon Neue Energieökonomik.
|Domain name||Registrant / holder||Registry||Comment|
||Lion Hirth||DENIC||not used|
||Lion Hirth||DENIC||not used|
||neon Neue Energieökonomik GmbH||PIR||forum|
||neon Neue Energieökonomik GmbH||PIR||website, wiki|
.de top-level domain (TLD) is managed by DENIC. The
.org TLD is managed by the US-based Public Interest Registry (PIR). In both cases, the details in the table above can be confirmed through the two websites indicated.
Neither Lion Hirth nor neon host or provide hardware for any of the openmod services. A modest annual fee is required to maintain each registered domain name which Lion covers personally.
Open licensing is applied as follows.
|forum||CC-BY-4,0||data under CC0‑1.0 and code under MIT from 9 January 2021|
|mailing list||full copyright||posters can optionally add open licenses to individual postings|
|website||CC-BY-4.0||default license, individual content may be otherwise licensed|
The following SPDX license identifiers are used: CC-BY-4.0 : Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, CC0‑1.0 : Creative Commons Zero 1.0, MIT : MIT license.
Auxiliary files are permitted as follows. Please try to reduce files sizes where practicable, for example by down-sampling raster images.
|Service||Maximum size||File type|
|forum||12 MB||common file extensions only (else zip to circumvent restrictions)|
|mailing list||8 MB||not restricted|
|wiki||not limited||not restricted|
Auxiliary files will also to need align with the open licensing policies of the service in question. That means a compatible open license and a suitable license notice. For presentations and reports, please add a license notice visually to the first slide or page. For native documents and spreadsheets, please store license information in the relevant document properties. For file formats that support embedded metadata (such as PDF and PNG), please add license information to the appropriate fields, typically
copyright (exiftool is useful here). Unlike Wikimedia, we do not patrol uploaded files for copyright violations. Nor, like some services, do we strip metadata from image formats on receipt.
Personal data privacy
The European GDPR regulation is designed to protect personal data. It entered into force on 25 May 2018. Among other provisions, the GDPR allows users to request erasure of their personal data. This means any data that could identify them individually must be deleted from both public view and storage as far as is practicable and with certain exceptions.
It is debatable whether the GDPR applies to Open Energy Modelling Initiative services because arguably none of these services meet the definition of “economic activity” under European Union law. Material licensed under an open license or public domain waiver cannot normally be withdrawn. Notwithstanding, all maintainers have decided to comply with the GDPR because it offers good practice and may well pertain in the future. If you want your personal data removed, please send a written request to person responsible for the relevant site. Some privacy policies are available online as indicated.
|website||—||no personal data present|
The original and still current openmod logo (solid and outline lettering and the word initiative in red) was designed by Katrin Schaber in 2014. She automatically retains the copyright. The logo has not been released under an open license and should not be used outside the openmod.
From 26 March 2020, the openmod began running mini‑workshops using Zoom teleconferencing software. As with other openmod online services, the primary responsibility for conduct lies with the specific organizers.
The material may be recorded and released under Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0 licenses consistent with the consents received. Registration and participant information in tabular form and chat logs are retained for ongoing analysis and reference and the associated files are stored unencrypted on external media.
Participants should note that Zoom has a number of well‑documented security and privacy issues. Nor is it possible to prevent attendees from locally recording or taking screenshots of teleconferenced events.
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