12/2009: Just added information on REAP
Here we include information on a range of software tools and databases that you may find useful for sustainable energy analysis. Please contact us if you wish to suggest additional tools. We are especially keen to include tools that are developed and supported by developing country organizations. The minimum qualifications for inclusion are that (a) the tool should be useful for analysis of energy systems in the context of sustainable development; (b) that a reasonable amount of documentation for the software should be publicly available on the web; and (c) that the tool should be flexible enough to be applied in a wide range of situations, particularly in developing countries.
Click on the name of a software tool to link to more information.
Please note that, apart from LEAP, these tools are developed by external
organizations and are not supported by the COMMEND community.
|Cities for Climate Protection (CCP)||Torrie-Smith Associates, Canada||Local (cities, states) climate inventories and action plans||Windows||Physical Accounting||Free to ICLEI member communities||
|COMPEED XL||EnergiAnalyse, Denmark||Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness toolbox for private and public decision-makers.||Excel||Physical Accounting||Free 30 day trial||
|CO2DB||IIASA, Austria||Database of CO2 emitting energy technologies||Windows||Database||Free||
|EnergyPLAN||Aalborg University, Denmark||
Simulates and optimizes the operation of an entire national energy system for every hour in a particular year.
|Energy Costing Tool||UNDP||Estimates the amounts and types of energy investments required to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)||Excel||Accounting||Free||
|ENPEP||Argonne National Laboratory, USA||Suite of Models for Integrated Energy/Environment Analysis||Windows||Various||Depends on modules used and type of institution.||
|GEMIS||Oeko-Institut, Germany||Lifecycle analysis of energy chains||Windows||Physical Accounting||Free||
|HOMER||National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA||Design of off- and on-grid electrification options||Windows||Optimization||Free||
|LEAP||SEI||Integrated Energy/Environment Analysis||Windows||Physical Accounting, Simulation||Free to qualified users from developing countries. Click here for licensing for other institutions||
|MAED||International Atomic Energy Agency||Integrated Energy / Environment Analysis||Windows & Linux||Physical Accounting, Simulation||Free to: public sector, non-profit and research organizations||www.iaea.org|
|MESSAGE||International Atomic Energy Agency||Final and Useful Energy Demand Projections||Windows||Optimization||Free to: public sector, non-profit and research organizations||www.iaea.org|
|REAP||SEI||Consumer based emissions and ecological footprint analysis for the UK local authorities and regions||Windows||Environmental extended input-output model of the UK.||$1,600 - $8,000 depending on support required||www.resource-accounting.org.uk/reap|
|RETSCREEN||Natural Resource Canada||Energy production, life-cycle costs and GHG emission reductions for various energy efficient and renewable energy technologies||Excel||Physical Accounting||Free||
|SUPER||OLADE||Energy Demand and Conservation, Hydrology, Planning under Uncertainty, Hydro-thermal Dispatch, Financial, and Environmental analysis||Windows||Optimization and Simulation||$4,000-$10,000 depending on institution||http://www.olade.org.ec|
|ETSAP||Integrated Energy/Environment Analysis||Windows||Optimization||$3,300-$15,000 depending on
type of institution.
CCP is a software tool designed primarily to help members of ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Campaign develop their local climate action plans. ICLEI is the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. The software can be used to develop greenhouse gas emissions inventories for cities based on their energy use and waste generation. It can also be used to help quantify financial savings, air pollutant reductions and other co-benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies.
COMPEED XL is an Excel-based cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness toolbox for private and public decision-makers. Its is designed to conduct externality-oriented techno-economic energy project analyses. For the policy maker COMPEED can be used to compare projects of differing nature and lengths, enabling prioritization among a range of alternatives. For the financial investor, COMPEED may be used for studies of private investments, and thus to calculate "go-no-go" decisions. COMPEED offers cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses based on a wide range of important benefits and costs surrounding a decision - energy resources, environment, economic costs, financial costs, employment, balance of payment, fiscal costs - aggregating the effects over time, making projects or programs comparable with other uses for scarce financial or economic resources.
CO2DB is a database containing detailed data on carbon mitigation technologies. The database currently contains approximately 3000 technologies, including detailed technical, economic and environmental characteristics as well as data on innovation, commercialization and diffusion. Users can add to, select, filter, arrange, and compare CO2DB's data according to any of the technology characteristics included in each database entry. Users can also make energy chain calculations as well as comparison tables and graphics on the technology and the chain level. IIASA disseminates CO2DB free of charge so that it can be useful to researchers in their individual studies. In return, they request that users share the data they enter into the database.
EnergyPLAN is a Windows-based tool created to assist in the design of national or regional energy planning strategies. It is a deterministic input/output model. General inputs are demands, renewable energy sources, energy station capacities, costs and a number of optional different regulation strategies emphasizing import/export and excess electricity production. Outputs are energy balances and resulting annual productions, fuel consumption, import/export of electricity, and total costs including income from the exchange of electricity. EnergyPLAN has been applied in Denmark and a number of other European Countries. It is a deterministic model using hourly simulations of load for a single year. It optimizes the operation of a given system across all fuels as opposed to models which optimize investments in the system. EnergyPLAN is based on analytical programming as opposed to iterations, dynamic programming or advanced mathematical tools.
In recognition of the critical role that energy plays in reaching the MDGs, UNDP's Sustainable Energy Programme has developed a set of tools for helping mainstream energy considerations into MDG-based national development strategies. A crucial part of developing MDG-based national development strategies is MDG costing, which quantifies the specific financial and human resources needed, as well as infrastructure required, to meet the MDGs. The Energy Costing Tool has been designed specifically to help government planners and decision makers estimate the amounts and types of energy investments required to meet the MDGs. Results of such an assessment can form the basis for developing country-specific strategies to meet the MDGs by 2015. Moreover, it provides a framework for the transparent budgeting of public expenditures to meet the MDGs.
The Energy and Power Evaluation Program (ENPEP) is a set of ten energy, environmental, and economic analysis tools. ENPEP is developed by the U.S. Argonne National Laboratory with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Several ENPEP modules are developed by and are the property of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). ENPEP can be used to evaluate the entire energy system (supply and demand side), perform a detailed analysis of the electric power system, and evaluate environmental implications of different energy strategies. Each module has automated linkages to other ENPEP modules as well as stand-alone capabilities. ENPEP consists of the following modules:
- MACRO-E: A macro-economic tool that helps analyze the feedbacks between the energy sector and the economy as a whole.
- MAED:: An MS-Excel-based bottom-up energy demand analysis model.
- LOAD: which analyzes hourly electric loads and generates load duration curves for use in other ENPEP modules.
- PC-VALORAGUA: used to determine the optimal generating mix of hydro and thermal electric power systems.
- WASP-IV: used to determine least-cost generating system expansion paths subject to user-defined constraints.
- GTMax: used to study marketing and system operational issues deregulated energy markets.
- ICARUS: used to assess the reliability and economic performance of alternative expansion plans for electric utility generating systems.
- IMPACTS: estimates physical and economic damages from air pollution.
- BALANCE: uses a market-based simulation approach to examine how various segments of the energy system will respond to changes in energy prices and demands.
- DAM: used to analyze tradeoffs between technical, economic, and environmental concerns.
GEMIS is the acronym for the Global Emission Model for Integrated Systems. GEMIS performs full life-cycle computations for a variety of fuel chains, calculating emissions, resource use and costs. The GEMIS database offers information on fuel chains as well as on different technologies. Life-cycle analysis is a methodology used to determine the environmental burden of products and services from "cradle-to-grave", i.e. from the source (raw material- or primary energy extraction) through the use phase to the "sink" (e.g. waste treatment, or recycling) including the materials needed for the construction, transport and auxiliary inputs. Note that the latest versions of GEMIS supersedes the earlier tool Environmental Manual a tool for electric power lifecycle analysis, which was supported and distributed by the World Bank. Both tools are developed by the Oeko-Institut in Germany.
HOMER simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems for remote, stand-alone, and distributed generation (DG) applications. HOMER's optimization and sensitivity analysis algorithms can be used to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of a large number of technology options and to account for variation in technology costs and energy resource availability. HOMER models a wide range of conventional and renewable energy technologies. Power sources that can be modeled include: solar photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines, run-of-river hydro power, diesel, gasoline, biogas, alternative, co-fired and custom-fueled generators, electric utility grids, microturbines, and fuel cells. Storage options include: battery banks and hydrogen.
LEAP is a comprehensive integrated scenario-based energy-environment modeling tool. Its scenarios account for how energy is consumed, converted and produced in a given energy system under a range of alternative assumptions on population, economic development, technology, price and so on. It is notable for its flexibility, transparency and user-friendliness. LEAP is primarily an accounting system but users can also build econometric and simulation-based models. The user can mix and match these methodologies as required in a given analysis. For example, a user might create top-down projections of energy demand in one sector based on a few macroeconomic indicators (price, GDP), while creating a detailed bottom-up forecast based on an end-use analysis in other sectors. LEAP supports both final and useful energy demand analyses as well as detailed stock-turnover modeling for transportation and other analyses. On the supply side LEAP supports a range of simulation methods for modeling both capacity expansion and plant dispatch. LEAP includes a built-in Technology and Environmental Database (TED) containing data on the costs, performance and emission factors for over 1000 energy technologies. LEAP can be used to calculate the emissions profiles and can also be used to create scenarios of non-energy sector emissions and sinks (e.g. from cement production, land-use change, solid waste, etc.).
LEAP includes features designed to make creating scenarios, managing and documenting data and assumptions and viewing results reports as easy and flexible as possible. For example, LEAP's main data structure is intuitively displayed as a hierarchical "tree" which be edited by dragging and dropping or copying and pasting branches. Standard energy balance tables and Reference Energy System (RES) diagrams are automatically generated and kept synchronized as the user edits the tree. The Results View is an extremely powerful report generator capable of generating thousands of reports as charts or tables. LEAP is designed to work closely with Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) making it easy to import, export and link to data and models created elsewhere.
MAED evaluates future energy demands based on medium- to long-term scenarios of socioeconomic, technological and demographic development. Energy demand is disaggregated into a large number of end-use categories corresponding to different goods and services in different sectors. The influences of social, economic and technological driving factors from a given scenario are estimated. These are combined to give an overall picture of future energy demand growth. Based on efficiencies of end-use appliances, useful energy as well as final energy demand is estimated. MAED is written using a series of excel macros. The tool and the manual is available in English, French and Spanish.
MESSAGE is used to formulate and evaluate alternative energy supply strategies under different user defined and physical constraints. Examples include: new investment limits, market penetration rates for new technologies, fuel availability and trade, environmental emissions, etc. MESSAGE is extremely flexible and can also be used to analyze energy/electricity markets and climate change issues. It belongs to the same family of models as MARKAL, EFOM and TIMES and relies on a technology rich description of the energy system. It chooses the most cost effective arrangement of technologies and energy carrier use to meet the demands for energy service specified. Unlike many other optimization models, it does not require purchases of GAMS, nor a commercial solver. A free Linear Programming (LP) solver is provided. However depending on the problem complexity more powerful LP and Non-Linear Programming (NLP) solvers, such as CPLEX, can be seamlessly used by the software.
REAP provides baseline data and scenario modeling of carbon, greenhouse gas
and ecological footprints for the regions and local authorities of the UK.
The tool currently provides the following functions (for all local authorities and regions in the UK):
- Footprint data by production sector
- Footprint by household consumption category
- Time series emissions data from 1992-2004 by region
- A comparison tool to compare data across geographies
- A composite region function to join local authorities or regions
- Update data function where baseline data can be changed
- Future scenario creation and analysis
- Evaluation of scenarios and results display
The scenario functions in REAP enable a policy maker to answer "What If" questions about the effects of policy on the environment helping to formulate strategies for local, regional and national government. Scenarios can be created across all areas of consumption, allowing the user to see the effects of changes to consumption, such as energy demand, travel or food, on the footprint in the local area over time. Changes to population and other consumable goods and services can also be incorporated, along with changes to the efficiencies of different production sectors over time. All of these areas of consumption can be changed individually or as a group, allowing scenarios to be as simple or complex as required.
RETScreen International Clean Energy Project Analysis Software can be used world-wide to evaluate the energy production, life-cycle costs and greenhouse gas emission reductions for various types of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies (RETs). The software also includes product, cost and weather databases, and a detailed online user manual. The RETScreen International Online Product Database provides users access to contact information for more than 1,000 clean energy technology manufacturers around the globe, including direct Website and Internet links from within the RETScreen software and from this Website (Marketplace). In addition, the database provides access to pertinent product performance and specifications data for a number of these manufacturers. These data can be "pasted" to the relevant cells within the RETScreen software. The RETScreen software currently includes modules for evaluating: wind energy, small hydro, solar photovoltaics (PVs), combined heat and power, biomass heating, solar air heating, solar water heating, passive solar heating, ground-source heat pumps, and refrigeration.
The SUPER model is useful for multi-year generation and power system inter-connection planning studies, considering parameters such as hydro risks, reservoir features, demand growth and hourly characteristics, energy conservation and load management programs, fuel costs, project execution periods, inter-connections, etc. It is used by over 10 countries, by national electric planning entities, power sector regulation and control agencies, consultants, and generation and transmission companies. The model contains the following modules: Energy Demand and Conservation, Hydrology, Planning under Uncertainty, Hydro-thermal Dispatch, Financial, and Environmental analysis.
MARKAL (MARket ALlocation) is a technology-rich energy/economic/environmental model. It was developed in a collaborative effort under the auspices of the International Energy Agency Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme (ETSAP). MARKAL is a generic model tailored by the input data to represent the evolution over a period of usually 20 to 50 years of a specific energy-environment system at the national, regional, state or province, or community level. The system is represented as a network, depicting all possible flows of energy from resource extraction, through energy transformation and end-use devices, to demand for useful energy services. Each link in the network is characterized by a set of technical coefficients (e.g., capacity, efficiency), environmental emission coefficients (e.g., CO2, SOx, NOx), and economic coefficients (e.g., capital costs, date of commercialization). Many such energy networks or Reference Energy Systems (RES) are feasible for each time period. MARKAL finds the best RES for each time period by selecting the set of options that minimizes total system cost over the entire planning horizon. TIMES (The Integrated MARKAL-EFOM System) builds on the best features of MARKAL and the Energy Flow Optimization Model (EFOM). In order to work with MARKAL, you need a number of software elements: MARKAL itself, a user-interface (two are available for Windows: ANSWER and VEDA), GAMS (a high-level modeling system for mathematical programming problems) and an optimizing solver such as MINOS, CPLEX or OSL. A number of varations of MARKAL are available including
- MARKAL-MACRO: which links MARKAL with a macroeconomic model to provide demands that are endogenous and responsive to price, and estimates of GDP impact and feedbacks.
- STOCHASTIC, which associates probabilities with the occurrence of each scenario, allowing hedging strategies to be determined that identify robust rather than purely optimal strategies.
- GOAL PROGRAMMING: which solves MARKAL according to the weighted preferences of various stakeholders with respect to cost versus environmental goals.