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.
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||www.torriesmith.com|
|COMPOSE||EnergiAnalyse, Denmark||Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness toolbox for private and public decision-makers.||Excel||Physical Accounting||Free 30 day trial. Contact author for prices thereafter.||
|CO2DB||IIASA, Austria||Database of CO2 emitting energy technologies||Windows||Database||Free||
|EFFECT||World Bank (ESMAP)||GHG emissions scenarios.||Excel||Accounting||Free||esmap.org/EFFECT|
|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-BALANCE||Argonne National Laboratory, USA||Energy systems analysis||Windows||Simulation||Free||www.dis.anl.gov|
|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||Version 2 available for a free two-week trial period. US$99.99 thereafter for a 6 month period. V1 (Legacy) is free but unsupported.||www.homerenergy.com|
|LEAP||SEI||Integrated Energy/Environment Analysis||Windows||Physical Accounting, Simulation, Optimization||Free to non-profit, academic and government sector organizations based in developing countries. Free to accredited students worldwide. Click here for licensing costs for other institutions||www.energycommunity.org|
|MAC Tool||World Bank (ESMAP)||
A tool for building marginal abatement cost curves and for calculating break-even carbon prices.
|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|
|OSeMOSYS||KTH, SEI other organizations||A free software tool for long-run energy planning based on Linear Programming optimization techniques.||GLPK (and embedded in LEAP)||Optimization||Free and Open Source||Available on the COMMEND web site. See also: osemosys.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||US$3,600 with one year of support and updates.||www.olade.org|
|ETSAP||Integrated Energy/Environment Analysis||Windows||Optimization||$3,300-$15,000 depending on
type of institution.
|TRACE||World Bank (ESMAP)||Decision-support to help cities quickly identify under-performing sectors, evaluate improvement and cost-saving potential, and prioritize sectors and actions for energy efficiency interventions. More information here.||Windows||Physical Accounting, Simulation||Free||www.esmap.org/TRACE|
|WEAP||SEI||Software tool for integrated water resources planning. Provides a comprehensive, flexible and user-friendly framework for planning and policy analysis. Can also be used in conjunction with LEAP for energy-water "nexus" analyses.||Windows||Physical Accounting, Simulation, Optimization, GIS-based.||Free to non-profit, academic and government sector organizations based in developing countries. Click here for licensing costs for other institutions||www.weap21.org|
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.
COMPOSE (Compare Options for Sustainable Energy) is a software tool for energy systems analysis. COMPOSE may be used for design and cost-effectiveness analysis of energy projects, comparing local and system-wide energy, environmental, and economic consequences. It can also be used to compare projects of differing nature and lengths, enabling prioritization among a range of alternatives. COMPOSE is also designed to act as a social platform for sharing and comparing case studies and solutions.
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.
EFFECT: the Energy Forecasting Framework and Emissions Consensus Tool (EFFECT) is an open and transparent spreadsheet-based modeling tool used to forecast greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a range of development scenarios. It focuses on sectors that contribute to and are expected to experience a rapid growth in emissions. The model was initially developed by the World Bank while working with the Government of India on an analysis of their national energy plan. It has since been used in eleven countries, including Brazil, Poland, Georgia, Macedonia, Nigeria, and Vietnam.
EFFECT forecasts GHG emissions for given development scenarios or policy choices. In addition to forecasting GHG Emissions, it enables consensus building among disparate government departments, and forecasts energy balances and amounts of energy generating/consuming assets in a country or sector. It also produces results for individual sectors such as road transport, agriculture, power, industry, household and non-residential sectors.
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.
ENPEP-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.
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 integrated scenario-based energy-environment modeling tool that accounts for how energy is consumed, converted and produced in a given energy system under a range of alternative assumptions. LEAP is primarily an accounting system but users can also build econometric, simulation and optimization-based models. Users 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 and optimization 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.).
The Marginal Abatement Cost Tool (MACTool) provides an easy way to build marginal abatement cost curves and for calculating break-even carbon prices. Its user-friendly interface guides users through a simple data entry process, which generates marginal abatement cost curves.
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.www.iaea.org
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.
OSeMOSYS the Open Source energy MODeling SYStem, is a simple, powerful, transparent, modeling system that can be used for linear programming based energy system optimization modeling. OSeMOSYS is open source and totally free to use. It is built open the GNU Linear Programming Kit (GLPK), an open source mathematical programming language. It has been created by a consortium of organizations lead by KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and including SEI, UNIDO, IAEA, and the UK Energy Research Center. OSeMOSYS is provided as a simple text file written in the GLPK language and it is also embedded within the LEAP energy modeling system.
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.
The Tool for Rapid Assessment of City Energy (TRACE) is a decision-support tool designed to help cities quickly identify under-performing sectors, evaluate improvement and cost-saving potential, and prioritize sectors and actions for energy efficiency (EE) intervention. It covers six municipal sectors: passenger transport, municipal buildings, water and waste water, public lighting, solid waste, and power and heat.
TRACE consists of three modules: an energy benchmarking module which compares key performance indicators (KPIs) among peer cities, a sector prioritization module which identifies sectors that offer the greatest potential with respect to energy-cost savings, and an intervention selection module which functions like a “playbook” of tried-and-tested EE measures and helps select locally appropriate EE interventions.
Freshwater management challenges are increasingly common. Allocation of limited water resources between agricultural, municipal and environmental uses now requires the full integration of supply, demand, water quality and ecological considerations. WEAP, the Water Evaluation And Planning system is a user-friendly software tool that incorporates these issues into a practical yet robust tool for integrated water resources planning. It provides a comprehensive, flexible and user-friendly framework for planning and policy analysis. WEAP also be used in conjunction with LEAP for energy-water nexus analyses.