The purpose of the EnergyPLAN model is to analyse the energy, environmental, and economic impact of various energy strategies. The key objective is to model a variety of options so that they can be compared with one another, rather than model one “optimum” solution based on defined pre-conditions. Using this methodology, it is possible to illustrate a palette of options for the energy system, rather than one core solution. This could classify EnergyPLAN as a “simulation” tool rather than an optimisation tool, even though there is some optimisation within the model.
Furthermore, the aim of EnergyPLAN is to model the “finishing point” of the energy system rather than the starting point. The focus is placed on the future energy system and how that will operate, rather than on today’s energy system. Therefore, EnergyPLAN includes relatively detailed modelling of future technologies such as biomass gasification and synthetic fuels, but relatively aggregated modelling of today’s technologies such as power plants. The focus is on the future rather than the present.
In short, this tool is designed to assist policy-makers in designing national/regional energy planning strategies. In SmartEnCity, the tool was introduced to accomplish this goal and includes a detailed training plan to utilize it. As a “freeware”, the tool will not cost you anything, and the training tools, exercises, guide documents, and forum are available to help you.
How to use & tips
The tool simulates the operation of national energy systems on an hourly basis, including the electricity, heating, cooling, industry, and transport centres. In the hands of researchers and policymakers, this can be a powerful tool to drive the transition towards a zero-carbon city.
• The EnergyPLAN tool itself requires about 2 weeks to learn the basic functions. But to help you get started, we have outlined a few steps that will help you on your way to using this powerful tool!
- Go to the SmartEnCity tools section
- Find “Energyplan.eu”, select: Visit the website.
- Select “Get started” in the menu and follow the step-by-step instructions for downloading the model and learning to use it (training).
• Disclaimer for first time users: the EnergyPLAN website includes a lot of information and tools to get you started. We have also included several helpful links below that will support you on your way to a carbon neutral strategy.
Like the Energy Balance tool, the EnergyPLAN is not a quick solution to understanding your city’s current energy balance and future energy balance. According to the site, it will take about 2 weeks to understand the basic functions of the model. Therefore, patience and careful practice is required to learn the tool. Don’t worry though! The EnergyPLAN site includes all sorts of helpful information, training, exercises, guide documents, and much more to assist you.
Link to more information
Find guidelines here - Get Started with EnergyPLAN
Find the introduction here - Introduction to EnergyPLAN
Download the tool here - Download the model
Read the scientific publication here – From Carbon Calculators to Energy System Analysis in Cities