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EEG three-part webinar series:  Energy Modelling for Better Policymaking

How can modelling and decision support tools directly contribute towards enhanced electricity sector policymaking in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia?

 

Strategic energy planning is an essential input to effective policy and investment decision-making. It involves the use of evidence and a robust set of assumptions for the future to identify the energy needs of a country or region, and broad pathways for meeting these needs in ways that satisfy strategic goals for energy access, energy security, climate action and environmental protection. Energy goals that are clear, evidence-based, and widely agreed can help align the incentives and actions of key stakeholders towards achieving these wider developmental and social objectives.

Modelling is used in energy and electricity systems to address planning and operational challenges. A wide variety of model types are available to deal with issues ranging from strategic long-term energy system planning to short-term optimisation of the dispatch of variable renewable energy sources in a grid system. The extent to which the energy modelling is used consistently and coherently in lower and middle income countries, and the extent to which it is seen as a useful tool by decision makers in those countries to aid policy and investment decisions, is open to question however.

Hosted by EEG, this three-part webinar series, being held over April and May 2021, will bring together leading experts and a live audience, to explore the current use of modelling in different decision making areas and practical solutions to optimise the use of such tools. The events will include panel discussions chaired by Benjamin Klooss, Head of Research and Engagement at EEG.

 

Key questions on energy modelling and decision support tools will be addressed, including:

  • How do policymakers and regulators currently use electricity sector models and decision support tools in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia?

  • What type of models are most effective for which kind of decision-making?

  • How can modelling improve gender, equality and social inclusion outcomes?

  • What are the gaps in the modelling skills base in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and is there sufficient existing training capacity to address them?

  • How can national ownership, coherence and inclusivity, capacity, robustness, transparency and accessibility of models be improved?

  • Are models the answer, or when do we know enough?

 

Webinar 1: Does energy modelling enhance policy making? Opportunities and hurdles (Thursday 29 April)

The first webinar in the series explored how energy models are used in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and the hurdles for policy-relevant modelling related to capacity, data availability and national ownership.

The panellists were:

  • Eugenia Masvikeni, Energy and Environmental Finance Specialist, SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE)

  • Dr Gabrial Anandarajah, Associate Professor, University College London (UCL)

  • Marco Baroni, Independent Energy Expert and Lecturer, Sciences Po

  • S K Soonee, Advisor and former & founder CEO of the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) of India

  • Dr Asami Miketa, Senior Programme Officer, Power Sector Investment Planning, IRENA.

 

The second webinar will investigate how models can best be employed and which approaches to use to resolve particular energy sector challenges. The discussion will focus on the strengths and limitations of different approaches, and how applicable the different modelling techniques are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  

Panellists will include:

  • Dr Debabrata Chattopadhyay, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)

  • Dr Jyoti K Parikh, Executive Director, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe)

  • Dr Ranjit Deshmukh, Assistant Professor, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

  • Dr Will Usher, Assistant Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

The third and final webinar will assess the frontiers in energy modelling and their relevance to resolving emerging challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We will discuss the promises and applications of new approaches, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, probabilistic approaches, agent-based modes, integrated economic-energy-water-land models, and capturing politics and the societal licence within models.

Panellists will include:

  • Dr Jay Taneja, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of Massachusetts – Amherst (UMass)

  • Stephen Lee, Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

With further speakers to be confirmed.

Panellists

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Dr Gabrial Anandarajah
Associate Professor, University College London (UCL)
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Marco Baroni
Independent Energy Expert and Lecturer, Sciences Po
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Dr Debarata Chattopadhyay
Dr Debabrata Chattopadhyay
Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)
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Dr Ranjit Deshmukh
Assistant Professor, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)
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Readlay Makaliki
Readlay Makaliki
Lead Technical Expert at SACREEE
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Eugenia Masvikeni
Energy and Environmental Finance Specialist, SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE)
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Dr Asami Miketa
Senior Programme Officer, Power Sector Investment Planning, IRENA
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Dr Jyoti K Parikh
Dr Jyoti K Parikh
Executive Director, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe)
Principal Investigator
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S K Soonee
Advisor and former & founder CEO of the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) of India
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Dr Jay Taneja
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of Massachusetts – Amherst (UMass)
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Dr William Usher
Assistant Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology