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Open ENergy TRansition ANalyses for a low-carbon Economy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Open ENTRANCE (Open ENergy TRansition ANalyses for a low-carbon Economy)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-10-31

The energy system in Europe will follow a transition to a low-carbon future in accordance with the COP21 agreements and the European Union targets for the period to 2050. Energy models that are currently used to plan, support and verify the energy policies at national and European level do not fully take into account all new challenges posed by this transition. Civil society is looking for improved access to assumptions, tools and results underlying the assessment of policy options. Researchers are also eager for more collaborative research and use of open data sources. A better transparency of modelling tools and a wider availability of data used and generated by modelling exercises would improve understanding of the challenges ahead. In addition, Europe needs to continuously promote networks and platforms for dialogue about energy modelling between relevant actors and institutions in order to enhance the scientific knowledge in the field and to reinforce the interaction between researchers and policy makers.
The H2020 project Open ENTRANCE (Open ENergy TRansition ANalyses for a low-Carbon Economy), addresses the development, use and dissemination of an open, transparent and integrated modelling platform for assessing low-carbon energy transition pathways that cut across the boundaries of established fields of knowledge. The platform will be populated with a suite of modelling tools and data selected to cover the multiple dimensions of the energy transition. This will facilitate and improve the dialogue between researchers, policy makers and industry when investigating key questions linked to the energy transition:
1) What are the possible pathways towards a low-carbon emission energy system,
2) What key environmental, social, technical and economic factors may affect the energy system transition and how should they be addressed holistically,
3) What will be the main consequences of such pathways in terms of energy mix, environmental and economic impacts.

Open ENTRANCE aims to establish communication and interaction among very different models currently stand-alone and unconnected. Making existing tools available and linked as part of a shared platform will significantly improve and accelerate the knowledge exchange between researchers and stakeholders and therefore empower them to run consistent analyses for the energy system transition. Through the online platform, researchers and stakeholders will be able to share tools, scenarios, datasets and results.

The 4-year project includes 13 energy modelling groups in Europe. Their participation in developing and using The Open Platform will be a starting point for further use beyond the project. The open database will be accessible for at least 10 years after the end of the project. The project facilitates a close and continuous dialogue with policy and decision-makers in Europe, with whom the open modelling platform and the in-depth analyses are developed and discussed. Open ENTRANCE will host a workshop in the European Parliament by the end of the project.
"In the first 18 months of the project, openENTRANCE has developed important parts of The Open Platform:

* 4 consistent scenarios for low carbon energy futures at pan-European and country level (preliminary). Three of these scenarios are complying to a maximum 1.5°C global temperature increase, while the last one is complying to a maximum 2.0°C increase. These quantitative scenarios (see figures) have been created using a tailor-made adaptation and extension of the energy system model GENEeSYS-MOD. The scenarios have been validated against the ""most alike"" pathways of the IAM MESSAGix-GLOBIOM model, which is used in the scope of IPCC.
* A suite of models that is being made open, thus enabling reuse and further development by a wide research community. This task is ongoing and will be finalised in the next reporting period. The suite includes models of different types: energy-system models, power system models, macroeconomic models, investment models and models for optimisation of local energy use and production.
* An open database for sharing data between models and providing access to data sets. By the end of the project, this database will include large data sets which should be relevant for analyses of the transition to a low carbon energy system in Europe
* Linkage of most of the models in such a way that models can share data, and output data from one model can become input data to another model. Thanks to this linking, several analyses can be done in a fast and consistent way.

The Open Platform will be available for Third-party users in the spring of 2021.

openENTRANCE has started demonstration of the use of The Open Platform via case-studies. The case studies are in-depth studies about selected topics such as: how energy flexibility in households' will impact the investment needs at the European level and how optimal use of energy among communities of actors will impact the overall load profile. Moreover, the project has started macroeconomic analyses to provide new knowledge about the economic consequences of the transition to a low carbon society. These activities will continue in the next reporting period.

openENTRANCE has chaired the fourth conference of the Energy Modelling Platform for Europe (EMP-E), which took place as an online event on 6th to 8th October 2020 and attracted more than 500 participants: The conference was organised in cooperation with EC officers, and the H2020 Energy Modelling Group, made up of eight Horizon 2020 projects. Several hundred participants joined the online event."
The openENTRANCE Open Platform – including both open and linked energy modelling tools and large data sets for analyses of low carbon scenarios in Europe – will be a new powerful and easy-to-use tool offered to the research community, which may build on it with its further research. This Platform, free of use, holds the potential to make further research more efficient. For example, the energy system model GENeSYS-MOD and the four complete datasets will be fully open at a later stage in the project. Any modeller will be able to adjust or improve the scenarios according to development in policies, technologies, etc. Access to the openENTRANCE tools and data sets will relieve other researchers from extensive work loads and improve the European knowledge about how the region can develop into a low carbon society in the most cost-efficient way.

Finally, the project will bring new knowledge about how to carry out the transformation of the energy system in the most cost-efficient way – taking into consideration challenges such as decentralisation and variability in electricity supply, the need for flexibility, short and long-term market dynamics, integration of the energy systems, the deployment of innovative technologies and the interaction between increasing numbers of independently acting agents.
Electricity production in 2050 in the Directed Transition scenario
The four openENTRANCE scenarios
Logo of the openENTRANCE project