PLEASE SEE DISCUSSION POINTS 1,2,3,4

Overview

This dedicated three day workshop brings together a select group of international experts to develop the OSMOSYS model into a working analytical framework. The OSMOSYS model acronym stands for Open Source energy Modelling SYStem. The objectives of this model are:
  • Simple – lowering barriers to entry by allowing users to quickly get up to speed to use and adapt the model
  • Open – the code will be freely available and well documented
  • Free – the model will use freely available programming language, solvers, and data analysis software so there is no financial costs for users
  • Flexible – the code will be easily adapted for users to customise, improve and extend it as they see fit
  • Transportable – portability to other platforms

This new energy model would close a gaping hole in the analytical toolbox available to the energy research community, both in the UK and around the world.

  • OSMOSYS would be a fully fledged energy systems optimisation model, substantially extending existing simpler analytical models that are accounting in nature such as LEAP
  • Unlike long established energy systems models (MARKAL/TIMES, MESSAGE, PRIMES, POLES etc), OSMOSYS would not require a major learning curve and manpower investment to build and operate. Additionally, by not using proprietary software, or commercial programming languages and solvers, OSMOSYS requires no upfront financial requirements. These two advantages would extend the energy modelling community further to students, business analysts, government specialists, and developing country energy researchers.
  • For experienced energy researchers, the OSMOSYS code would be straightforward, elegant and transparent allowing the ability to easily make changes and conduct sophisticated new analyses.
This new modelling framework would draw from initial work which presented a ‘proof of concept’ at the International Energy Workshop held at the International Energy Agency in 2008, see: www.iea.org/Textbase/work/2008/iew/Wednesday/Howells.pdf

Workshop Goals and Outcomes
The workshop has two main goals
1. To finalise the model’s essential ethos, structure and code
2. To spur an international network of users to apply and develop the model.

The outcomes of the workshop are intended to be

  • Terms of reference (TOR) for model use and development
  • Launch of Osmosys model
    • Model code
    • Documentation
    • Website (including development blog)
  • Journal paper
  • Follow up workshop (ideally at IEW conference in Stockholm, June 2010)
  • Commitment to teaching modules – e.g., UCL, U. Capetown, KTH

Detailed Initial Topical Agenda

DAY 1

  • Review of existing energy economics models
  • Value added and focus of OSeMOSYS
  • Demonstration of OSeMOSYS and discussion of existing model
  • Defining functionality - Core model elements
  • Defining functionality - Optional extensions
DAY 2
  • New code iteratively solving key modelling issues
  • Modelling interfaces
  • Data handling
DAY 3
  • Defining development rules
  • Mechanisms for future development of model and user community
    • - Online forum
    • - Follow up workshop

Suggestions for detailed agenda for Day 1:

Review of existing models:
- 3E models (Emphasis on "systems models": Accounting, simulation, optimization, hybrid (IO, CGE, Econometric)
- "development" environments: how are these model maintained?,
who does what?, who pays for what? how is the whole thing from concept, design, macro and micro implementation, etc. managed?

Value added and focus of OSeMOSYS
- Free - low barriers to entry for students and analysts
- Accesible - to "development efforts" as well as "application"
- "Flexible" - A virtual modelling "Lego kit" with:

  • "Plain English" descriptions of modelling attributes, function, constraints and objectives (least cost, is it possible to do...?, etc )
  • Mathematical interpretations of description with multiple potential interpretations (e.g. "supply meets demand appropriately", equal , not equal)
  • Macro implementation (arrangement of "Lego blocks", e.g. building a Lego car with existing blocks
  • New "Micro" implementations (e.g. new representations of Storage, future "Macro" implementations can then use this or another "Micro" implementation of storage.)
user can then develop new aspects of all of these:
  • "Open source"
  • * Application and development potential available easily to all
  • Especially for universities and teaching etc.
* Available to other initiatives e.g. LEAP
  • * Needs to be open for public benefit

Summary of Open Source License options
(Charlie Heaps is currently working on this.)
- What are the pro's and con's of different licensing regimes for model development and use

Demonstrating OSeMOSYS (1) - the raw "pre-alpha" model
- a simple case study: the South African electricity system
(Howells)

Demonstrating OSeMOSYS (2) - integration with other tools: LEAP
- adding optimization capacity to LEAP
- using existing tools as: Interfaces, meta-data handling
- some implications

Defining functionality
Current core model elements
-
Starting with a broad toolkit structure, think through four steps:
  • "Plain English" descriptions of modelling attributes, function, constraints and objectives (least cost, is it possible to do...?, etc )
  • Mathematical interpretations of description with multiple potential interpretations (e.g. "supply meets demand appropriately", equal , not equal)
  • Macro implementation (arrangement of "Lego blocks", e.g. building a Lego car with existing blocks
  • New "Micro" implementations (e.g. new representations of Storage, future "Macro" implementations can then use this or another "Micro" implementation of storage.)