Introduction

The Energy Transition Model (ETM) is an open-source interactive tool for energy modeling. It allows you to create and explore scenarios for the energy future of various countries. The ETM brings the facts and tools to capture your vision for the future!

ETM interfaces

Parts of the ETM

The ETM consist of many parts, all with their own specific documentation and user manuals. The main goal of this document is to provide you with the information you are looking for. Whether you are a user, a contributor, an energy expert or a developer, the links below should get you started right away!

We're open source!

All functionality of the ETM can be used free of charge and the ETModel and ETEngine code are publicly available on GitHub under the MIT licence.

Documentation for users

The Energy Transition Model has two main interfaces:

  • The Professional interface: over 300 sliders, 100+ charts and tables and much more. The starting point for a detailed energy scenario for various countries and end-years.
  • The Energy Game: lets you explore the energy future of the Netherlands in a fun, visual way.

From here on, we will focus on the professional interface.

The professional interface allows you to influence all the main aspects of the energy system:

  • Demand: what happens to energy consumption in the future?
  • Flexibility: future energy system will most likely be characterized by times of excess electricity due to the volatile nature of the electricity production. Flexibility technologies, like battery storage and power to gas allow you to deal with this excess electricity.
  • Supply: which technologies will be used produce heat and electricity in the future?
  • Costs: specify what you think will happen to the costs of carriers and technologies. Setting the costs provides the canvas on which your scenario is painted. NOTE: these costs do not include taxes or subsidies and are, therefore, less dependent on government influences than prices.

Interacting with the ETM

You can interact with the ETM through sliders:

Active slider with share

Sliders can be moved by either:

  • dragging the slider itself (using the mouse)
  • clicking the minus and plus signs that appear when the mouse hovers over a slider
  • typing directly into the value box (click once on the value to activate)

You receive feedback about the changes your choices bring about through the dashboard and the charts. Both dashboard and charts can be changed to show the information that you are interested in.

Start and end years

At any time, the ETM contains information about two scenarios:

  • The start-scenario: this scenario is fixed and is used to calculate how much your choices for the future affect things like CO2 emissions.
  • The future scenario: this scenario is initially identical to the start-scenario but will reflect the changes you make in the ETM, using the sliders available. The philosophy of the ETM is: the future will be equal to the present, unless you change things. This is to make the effects of single measures really clear.

The energy calculation

Energy is the 'common currency' of the ETM. When you change a slider, you effectively change the energy flow in the ETM. This energy flow can be represented as a graph such as shown below:

Simplified version of the Graph that is at the core of the ETM

The nodes are represented by nodes which convert or transport energy (possibly with loss). The edges (connections) are the energy flows which are characterized by volume (in megajoule) and carrier type (such as coal, electricity, useable_heat etc.).

The ETM is demand driven meaning that moving a slider in the demand sector, the graph is traverse from left to right. From 'useful demand' (heating, hot water, car kilometers) to 'primary demand' (the extraction of gas, import of coal etc.)

More information on the calculation methods of the ETM can be found on our detailed documentation pages

Documentation for contributors

The Energy Transition Model consists of a centrally hosted calculation engine that can be accessed by two main web-interfaces and an API. The interfaces are:

Where to start?

  • Start with data if you want to know what data or publications were used for the Energy Transition Model. Also if you are interested in improving the existing data or want to create your own country.
  • Start with code if you want to build on the ETM code.

Start with data

The data-flow of the ETM starts with the energy balance of a country (or a group of countries as in the EU version of the model). We currently use the IEA energy balances because they are available for all countries, in the same format and can be bought online. The energy balance is a matrix of numbers that describe the energy flows of a country broken down in carrier (along one axis) and sectors, applications etc (along the other axis)

Apart from the energy balance, the ETM needs information about the current state of affairs in the country you want to model in the ETM. Such information includes (amongst others) the number of inhabitants and the fraction of LED lamps. We call this type of information 'assumptions'.

The energy balance, together with the assumptions will be forged into a dataset that can initialize the ETM. This process is done in the Dataset Analysis which can be found in the ETDataset repository.

A different kind of assumptions we have made are the technical and financial parameters such as 'efficiency' or 'operating and maintenance costs' for all the technologies and energy carriers used in the model. Each technology's attributes are based on our research of publicly available sources as much as possible. Most technological assumptions are not country-specific, but global. All these can also be found in the ETDataset repository.

For more information on where to find all this information, please refer to the specific documentation in the README.md located in the root directory. You will see this by scrolling down after clicking the link to the ETDataset repository.

Start with code

Depending on which part of the model you want to work on, the repositories that hold the relevant code are as follows:

  • ETEngine: The computational engine. Contains all methods to traverse the energy graph, methods for interaction with the graph (e.g., gqueries) etc.
  • ETModel: The front-end code, charts, translations which make up the professional interface.
  • ETSource: Qqueries, input statements, the data that defines the graph structure and content.
  • Merit: Stand-alone merit order calculator which is used as a gem by ETEngine to calculate hourly electricity and heat network loads.
  • Fever: Calculates hourly heat loads for households and buildings.
  • Atlas: Functions to configure and initialize the graph, and its related datasets.
  • Refinery: Graph structure, energy flow calculation, and traversal algorithms used to initialize the graph.

Each repository has its own specific documentation in the README.md located in the root directory.

Quintel Intelligence

The people behind the ETM

The Energy Transition Model has been created by Quintel Intelligence. We are a small company with big ambitions when it comes to energy modeling. Our team consists of people from various disciplines who share a passion for energy.

Please have a look at our company website for more information.