After more than 18 months of development, SEI will launch an important new version of LEAP at the end of May 2020: A decision support system for integrated planning of the energy, climate protection and air pollution control mainly for government agencies, but powerful as well for corporates working in energy-intense sectors.
In a two-hour webinar on May 19, 2020, some of the capabilities of this new version called LEAP 2020 were demonstrated.
LEAP 2020 has significant new capabilities that make it even more useful for developing low emission development strategies.
- Modelling of energy storage, combined with more detailed and flexible modelling of seasonal and diurnal variations in energy demand and supply: crucial for exploring the potential of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar to drive deep decarbonisation.
- One new optimization modeling framework called NEMO (Next Energy Modeling system for Optimization), which supports the modeling of energy storage and major optimization problems and works with several free and commercial solvers.
- A new visualization of results that are important for mitigation analysis, including Marginal Abatement Cost Curves (MACCs) and decomposition analyses based on the IPAT methodology.
- Capabilities to model the health effects of indoor air pollution and to break down results by age and gender: this will help to show how energy strategies can contribute to broader sustainable development goals (SDGs).
- GIS-based mapping capabilities, including the ability to produce geographical projections of likely future emission hotspots, which can be used to highlight the importance of environmental equity in energy planning
The Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) is a powerful, versatile software system for integrated energy planning and climate change assessment developed at SEI US. LEAP has been adopted by thousands of organizations in more than 190 countries worldwide. Its users include government agencies, scientists, non-governmental organizations, consulting firms and utilities.
LEAP is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for countries implementing integrated resource planning, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation assessments and Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS), particularly in developing countries, and many countries have also adopted LEAP as part of their reporting obligations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At least 32 countries used LEAP to develop energy and emissions scenarios that formed the basis for their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions on Climate Change (INDCs): The creation of the historic Paris Climate Convention was intended to demonstrate the countries’ intention to start decarbonising their economies and investing in climate resilience.
LEAP also includes a number of optional specialised methodologies, including stock turnover modelling for areas such as transport planning. On the supply side, LEAP offers a range of accounting and simulation methods that are powerful enough for modelling power generation and capacity expansion planning, but also flexible and transparent enough to allow LEAP to easily incorporate data and results from other, more specialised models.
The modelling capabilities of LEAP operate at two basic conceptual levels. At one level, the calculations integrated into LEAP process all “uncontested” energy, emission and cost-benefit calculations. At the second level, users enter spreadsheet-like expressions that can be used to specify time-variable data or to create a variety of sophisticated multi-variable models, thus embedding econometric and simulation approaches into the general accounting framework of LEAP. The latest versions of LEAP also support optimization modeling: they allow the creation of least-cost models for capacity expansion and shipping of electrical systems, possibly under various constraints such as CO2 limits or local air pollution. LEAP is intended as a medium to long-term modelling tool. Most of its calculations are done in an annual time step, and the time horizon can extend over an unlimited number of years.