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OSeMOSYS: The Open Source Energy Modeling System An introduction to its ethos, structure and development

Howells, Mark, Rogner, Holger, Strachan, Neil, Heaps, Charles, Huntington, Hillard, Kypreos, Socrates, Hughes, Alison, Silveira, Semida, DeCarolis, Joe, Bazillian, Morgan, Roehrl, Alexander
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.10 pp. 5850-5870
energy, energy policy, energy use and consumption, models
This paper discusses the design and development of the Open Source Energy Modeling System (OSeMOSYS). It describes the model’s formulation in terms of a ‘plain English’ description, algebraic formulation, implementation—in terms of its full source code, as well as a detailed description of the model inputs, parameters, and outputs. A key feature of the OSeMOSYS implementation is that it is contained in less than five pages of documented, easily accessible code. Other existing energy system models that do not have this emphasis on compactness and openness makes the barrier to entry by new users much higher, as well as making the addition of innovative new functionality very difficult. The paper begins by describing the rationale for the development of OSeMOSYS and its structure. The current preliminary implementation of the model is then demonstrated for a discrete example. Next, we explain how new development efforts will build on the existing OSeMOSYS codebase. The paper closes with thoughts regarding the organization of the OSeMOSYS community, associated capacity development efforts, and linkages to other open source efforts including adding functionality to the LEAP model.