Energy Modeling

Water Resources at SEI-US
COMMEND website

Latest Projects

Show All Energy Modeling Projects

Revision and update of elements of Mexico's Low Emissions Development Strategy

Staff: Heaps, C. ; Clark, V.
Date: 2012-13

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling ; Climate Mitigation Policy

Description: SEI is helping Mexico update its national emissions baseline and identify climate change mitigation opportunities. In recent years, the Mexican government has been involved in various efforts related to climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, all with the broader intent of developing a national emissions reduction strategy. This project seeks to revise, update, and strengthen these previous efforts, and generate key elements for the formulation and implementation of a long-term national Low-Emissions Development Strategy, using the LEAP system and drawing on SEI's mitigation expertise.
More information

Fixing Critical Accounting Gaps in Bioenergy

Staff: Lazarus, M. ; Lee, C.M. ; Heaps, C. ; Clark, V.
Date: 2012-ongoing
Client/Funder: SEI Core

Research Area(s): Climate Mitigation Policy ; Energy Modeling

Description: Current bioenergy accounting approaches have led to a "critical climate accounting error" in the treatment of greenhouse gas emissions from biomass combustion. SEI is conducting research to identify suitable analytical approaches to better account for bioenergy impacts in GHG mitigation analyses, and to incorporate one or more approach into SEI's LEAP energy planning software.

Statewide Integrated Water and Energy Planning in California

Staff: Purkey, D. ; Joyce, B. ; Sieber, J. ; Heaps, C. ; National Center for Atmospheric Research; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Date: 2010-ongoing
Client/Funder: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); California Energy Commission (CEC)

Research Area(s): Water Resources ; Energy Modeling

Description: This project involves linking SEI's Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) and Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) systems to create an integrated platform to explore water and energy interactions and feedbacks. It builds on work done in a 2010 case study of the American River Watershed in California. It is estimated that nearly 20% of California's energy consumption is associated with moving, lifting, treating, and using water. For this project, SEI has partnered with the state Department of Water Resources, which is responsible for guiding California's water future; the California Energy Commission, the coordinating agency to address climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions; and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which provides natural gas and electric service to millions in northern and central California. We will link water management options, such as reuse, reservoir re-operation, demand-side management, land use changes, etc., as represented in the WEAP portion of the tool, to models of the electric utility serving the water utilities, as represented in LEAP. In addition to a new decision support tool, the results of this case study will be used to develop a final report on the Northern California's water future and its implications for energy demands.

Community for Energy Environment and Development (COMMEND)

Staff: Heaps, C. ; Clark, V. ; Kollmuss, A. ; Fundacion Bariloche; United Nations Development Programme; various governments
Date: 2002-ongoing
Client/Funder: Governments of the Netherlands and Sweden

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling

Description: COMMEND (COMMunity for ENergy environment & Development) is an international initiative managed by SEI and designed to foster a community among energy analysts working on energy for sustainable development. A premise of COMMEND is that institutional and human capacity for energy and environmental analysis is in short supply, and that Southern analysts are isolated from their colleagues in other institutions and from sources of institutional support in both the North and South. COMMEND is primarily a web-based initiative to provide technical support, but also encompasses workshops held around the world to train energy and environment professionals in the techniques needed for energy planning and greenhouse gas mitigation assessment, 11 particularly through the use of SEI's LEAP modeling software. Activities in 2010 included the dissemination of new "starter" LEAP data sets for 104 countries via the COMMEND website and the organization of numerous trainings including workshops in Argentina, the Bahamas, Benin, Cuba, Estonia, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Mozambique and Paraguay. 2010 also saw the expansion of the program, with Tory Clark joining Charlie Heaps on the COMMEND team as a trainer and LEAP expert.
External Link

Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP)

Staff: Heaps, C. ; Sieber, J. ; Clark, V. ; U.K. Energy Research Centre (UK ERC); International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Energy Research Center at the University of Cape Town (ERC, UCT)
Date: 2001-ongoing

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling ; Sustainable Futures

Description: LEAP, the Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System, is SEI’s widely used software tool for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment. LEAP has been adopted by hundreds of organizations in more than 190 countries. Its users include government agencies, academics, non-governmental organizations, consulting companies, and energy utilities. It has been used at many different scales ranging from cities and states to national, regional and global applications. This year has seen major efforts to develop a new version of LEAP, and to make the techniques built into LEAP available to a wider audience. The new version will include new least-cost energy planning capabilities (developed in partnership with the IAEA, the U.K. ERC and others), new techniques for modeling of seasonal and time-of-day variations in demand and supply (see graphic below), a revamped file format that will support use of the system by large teams of users, and a new web-based tool that will allow results to be uploaded to a web site for interactive viewing. The new version of LEAP (LEAP2011) was released in May 2011; the new web-based tool will be following shortly.
External Link
Related Publication(s): Energy Planning and Policy Analysis - LEAP

Global Energy Assessment for Rio+20

Staff: Nilsson, M. ; Heaps, C. ; Erickson, P. ; Persson, A.; Carson, M.; The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI); World Resources Institute (WRI); International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Date: 2011-2012
Client/Funder: Sida, Swedish government

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling ; Climate Mitigation Policy

Description: Feeding into the Rio+20 preparations, SEI, together with its partners around the world, prepared a global assessment on the United Nations goal of providing "sustainable energy for all". Access to energy for the poor is widely regarded as key to making advances towards the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. This study examined the implications of "energy for all" going beyond basic access and instead supporting development more fundamentally by providing electricity and modern fuels for productive uses all around the world. The resulting assessment describes viable pathways for achieving these goals, and suggests how a greening of economic and energy development pathways might be governed across different scales.
Related Publication(s): Energy for a Shared Development Agenda: Global Scenarios and Governance Implications

LEAP Energy Model for Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA)

Staff: Heaps, C. ; Clark, V.
Date: 2010-2011

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling

Description: The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) requires the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to achieve GHG reductions of 80% by 2050. The state asked SEI to develop a new energy and climate mitigation model to examine what policies can best meet these targets. SEI used the LEAP model to create baseline emissions projections to 2020 and 2050 and also analyzed more than 50 different policies and measures that could be implemented to achieve these goals. These measures include major energy efficiency and technical measures such as the electrification of transport and deep energy efficiency retrofits of buildings as well as dramatic shifts in how the state might generate carbon-free electricity. The model results informed the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020.
More information