An open source energy system simulation model as an instrument for public participation in the development of strategies for a sustainable future: An open source energy system simulation model

Frauke Wiese, Gesine Boekenkamp, Clemens Wingenbach, Olav Hohmeyer

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The mitigation of climate change demands a decarbonisation of the energy supply of industrialized countries by 2050. This requires fundamental changes of the energy system, high efficiency improvements and a transition to 100% renewable energy supply. A successful transition will need an extremely high acceptance of the general public to be achieved in the given time frame. The necessity of new production, transmission and storage facilities can only by analyzed by highly complex analytical models, which usually are proprietary. In general it is not transparent how the results are derived. To increase the public trust in the results of the underlying modeling, the University of Flensburg is developing the open source model renpass (renewable energy pathways simulation system), for the techno-economic simulation of the future development of the German and European electricity system. This model is supposed to be made available to the general public to scrutinize the assumptions and results of the planning process for the German 'Energiewende,' the transition to a 100% renewable electricity supply. The open source energy model has the goal to fulfill the requirements of full transparency and the possibility to image 100% renewable energy target systems as well as today's system and all stages of the system transition on a high regional and time resolution basis. The data input, the simulation as well as the optimization and the output are described. In the end the application possibilities especially for the 'Energiewende' in Germany are described and an outlook on future development is given. (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews : Energy and Environment
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)490-504
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Climate change
  • Computer simulation
  • Energy policy
  • Energy resources
  • Wire
  • Conflict of interest
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Efficiency improvement
  • Energy system simulations
  • Fundamental changes
  • Industrialized countries
  • Public participation
  • Renewable electricity
  • Open systems
  • Energy resources and fuels
  • Atmosphere (environmental science)
  • Pollution detection and control
  • climate mitigation
  • production facilities
  • renewable energy sources
  • open source system simulation model
  • public participation
  • future strategy development
  • climate change mitigation
  • decarbonisation
  • industrialized country
  • high efficiency improvements
  • renewable energy supply
  • transmission facility
  • storage facility
  • highly complex analytical models
  • university of Flensburg
  • renewable energy pathways simulation system
  • technoeconomic simulation
  • European electricity system
  • planning process
  • German energiewende
  • renewable electricity supply
  • renewable energy target systems
  • time resolution basis
  • optimization

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