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WS 14: Open Access Data and Modeling Tools for 21st Century Energy Challenges – Power Watch, OnSSET, and OSeMOSYS

Workshop organiser: World Resources Institute
Workshop chair: Johannes Friedrich (WRI)
Date and time: Wednesday 25, 14h30 – 16h30
Room: 6


Electricity is a key driver of the global economy, helping people to escape poverty and countries to improve their standards of living. At the same time, the current choice of electricity generation technologies drives climate change, jeopardizes water resources and releases air pollutants that are harmful to human health. Transitioning to sustainable energy sources while increasing electricity access for the 1 billion people across the globe who still lack access will be one of the defining challenges of the 21st century.

Despite the recognized importance of electricity access, there is a lack of consistently available data and tools to help decision makers address these 21st century energy challenges. This workshop will focus on open access data and modeling efforts undertaken by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm to provide decision makers with reliable data and planning tools to make informed actions that can reduce environmental impact while extending electricity access.

The projects highlighted are WRI’s Power Watch platform, and KTH’s OSeMOSYS & OnSSET planning tools. Power Watch is a comprehensive, open source database of the world’s power plants aiming to increase transparency in the global power sector by mapping out power plants and their impacts on climate, water resources, and air pollution. OSeMOSYS is an open source energy modeling system that focuses on bulk power supply and trade both in developed and developing countries, and can be extended to consider the entire energy system and relevant energy services. ONSSET is a power planning toolkit which geospatially compares the costs and resource availability for on and off grid solutions as a means for expanding electricity access in different parts of the world.

This workshop will focus on presenting these projects, as well as exploring the applications and use cases of the efforts with the members of the workshop audience.

Relevant Links

Project concept note



Aaron Kressig is a Research Assistant within the Global Climate Program, working on WRI’s climate data and innovation work. He is working on the Power Watch project which aims to create a comprehensive public database of the global power sector. In his role, he helps manage day to day operations of Power Watch project: establishing team research objectives, directing external relations with research partners, and leading fundraising efforts.

Previously he has conducted research on state level electricity markets in the Midwestern U.S., global carbon budgets, and geospatial analysis of water pollution from coal cleaning facilities on U.S. watersheds.

Aaron graduated from American University with a Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Policy in August 2017 with an emphasis in U.S. state-level energy policy. He completed his bachelors in Environmental Geography at the University of Missouri in May 2015.

When he is not at work he enjoys playing basketball and spending time outdoors camping, fishing, hiking, and exploring wild places.

Johannes Friedrich  is a Senior Associate within the Global Climate Program, leading WRI’s climate data and innovation work. He is the project manager for CAIT Climate Data Explorer and Power Watch and advises the institute on how to create new policy relevant data products and cutting edge visualization tools to turn information into action. In his role he works on a wide range of topics, including global climate and power sector data, policy analysis for the UNFCCC, food, forest and water issues, as well as corporate climate action. He also supports WRI’s Resources Watch project as whole to turn information into action.

Previously he did research on the scientific underpinning of the Planetary Boundaries concept at the Stockholm Resilience Center as well as applying his technical knowledge to marine ecology research in Egypt and working with the French-German television station ARTE in France.

He has a Bachelor’s in computer science and an interdisciplinary Master’s in science for sustainable development. He loves the outdoors, diving, biking and unicycling and prefers alternative modes of travel, like hitch-hiking and couch-surfing.

Francesco Fuso-Nerini joined the division of Energy Systems Analysis (KTH-dESA) in June 2017 as Assistant Professor. His research interests include the analysis of energy systems for policy support in all countries, and the inter-relations between action on energy systems and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Before joining the division, Francesco worked and/or studied in 12 institutions located in 8 different countries, spanning from academia to national and international organizations. He holds a PhD in Energy Systems Analysis from KTH, with a dissertation focusing on tools to support energy access policies, and 3 MSc degrees in Environmental and Sustainable Energy Engineering (from Politecnico Di Milano, Italy; UPC, Spain; and KTH,Sweden). Moreover, Francesco has post-doctoral experience from the UCL-Energy Institute at University College London and from the World Energy Outlook team at the International Energy Agency. Francesco also worked at the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment and as guest researcher both in Australia (Melbourne Energy Institute of Melbourne University) and Brazil (Federal University of Pará).

Constantinos Taliotis first joined the division of Energy Systems Analysis at KTH (KTH-dESA) as a MSc Thesis student in February 2012. After the completion of his MSc thesis he joined the division as a researcher and in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency, his work initially focused on modeling scenarios for the energization of the African continent via a cost optimization approach. Afterwards, he participated in the construction of a Global CLEWs model, in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This model, which features in the upcoming Global Sustainable Development Report of the UN, attempts a simplistic, globally aggregated approach and includes the six most resource-intensive material industries.

In collaboration with other colleagues in the division, Constantinos helped in the development of the first open-access Africa-wide bottom-up model with technology detail at the national level with potential for cross-border electricity trade.

Following an IRENA-funded project assessing renewable energy deployment in the electricity supply system of Cyprus, Constantinos is led the development of a comprehensive open-source energy systems model for Cyprus. This has the potential to assist in the formulation of consolidated energy and climate policy for the island.

Constantinos holds a PhD in Energy and Environmental Systems (KTH), an MSc in Sustainable Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden and a BSc in Environmental and Resource Sciences from Trent University in Canada.