IEA open letter on open data - SENT (openmod list)

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Malte Schäfer

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Dec 8, 2021, 8:35:46 AM12/8/21
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Dear openmodders,

Today, I sent out the open letter to the IEA on open data. A big thank you to all those that contributed!

Robbie will upload the open letter to the openmod forum in an internal topic (you need to be signed in). You'll be able to find it in this section: Internal Topic
There is also a public topic (accessible by anyone) on the letter, this one will not have the names of the signatories included: Public Topic
The purpose is to have the document permanently stored online, where people can refer to it, and also indicate in the comments that they support the notion (kind of like a dynamic list of signatories, which is still open after the letter has been sent).

If you'd like to forward the letter to your government, feel free to get in touch with me!

This should be everything for now. Please let me know if you're still missing something!

Again, thank you to all of you who helped in the process - first and foremost to Robbie, who has been a great supporter.

Best
Malte
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✎ Malte Schäfer, Dörnbergstraße 2, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
IEA_open_letter_short.pdf

Robbie Morrison

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Dec 8, 2021, 8:42:56 AM12/8/21
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Just to note that there were 37 signatories on the final letter.  The truncated version attached previously omits their names and affiliations. Robbie

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Robbie Morrison
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Robbie Morrison

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Dec 10, 2021, 9:11:40 AM12/10/21
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BREAKING NEWS: The London‑based Guardian newspaper just ran our story on the IEA datasets:

with best wishes, Robbie

Tom Brown

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Dec 12, 2021, 1:55:37 PM12/12/21
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Hi all,

Thanks Robbie and Malte for this great initiative to crack open the IEA!

You can still add yourself as a public signatory to the letter by
dropping Robbie an email with your affiliation and role. The more people
sign up the better, to show that open data has broad support in the
energy modelling community.

Let's see if we can get to 100 people (that would be only one ninth of
the peeps on this mailing list).

Best wishes,

Tom





On 10/12/2021 15:11, Robbie Morrison wrote:
> *BREAKING NEWS*: The London‑based Guardian newspaper just ran our story
> on the IEA datasets:
>
> * Ambrose, Jillian (10 December 2021). "Energy watchdog urged to give
> free access to government data"
> <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/10/academics-urge-iea-to-give-free-access-to-national-energy-data>.
> /The Guardian/. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077
> <https://www.worldcat.org/issn/0261-3077>.
>
> * open letter contents:
> https://forum.openmod.org/t/open-letter-to-iea-and-member-countries-requesting-open-data/2949
>
> with best wishes, Robbie
>
> On 08/12/2021 14.42, Robbie Morrison wrote:
>>
>> Just to note that there were *37 signatories* on the final letter.
>> The truncated version attached previously omits their names and
>> affiliations. Robbie
>>
>> On 08/12/2021 14.35, Malte Schäfer wrote:
>>> Dear openmodders,
>>>
>>> Today, I sent out the open letter to the IEA on open data. A *big
>>> thank you* to all those that contributed!
>>>
>>> Robbie will upload the open letter to the openmod forum in an
>>> internal topic (you need to be signed in). You'll be able to find it
>>> in this section: Internal Topic <https://forum.openmod.org/c/internal/23>
>>> There is also a public topic (accessible by anyone) on the letter,
>>> this one will not have the names of the signatories included: Public
>>> Topic
>>> <https://forum.openmod.org/t/open-letter-to-iea-and-member-countries-requesting-open-data/2949>
>>> The purpose is to have the document permanently stored online, where
>>> people can refer to it, and also indicate in the comments that they
>>> support the notion (kind of like a dynamic list of signatories, which
>>> is still open after the letter has been sent).
>>>
>>> If you'd like to forward the letter to your government, feel free to
>>> get in touch with me!
>>>
>>> This should be everything for now. Please let me know if you're still
>>> missing something!
>>>
>>> Again, thank you to all of you who helped in the process - first and
>>> foremost to Robbie, who has been a great supporter.
>>>
>>> Best
>>> Malte
>>> --
>>> ✎ Malte Schäfer, Dörnbergstraße 2, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
>>> ✉malte.s...@gmx.net <mailto:malte.s...@gmx.net>
>>> ✆ +49 173 758 1195
>>> --
>>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
>>> Groups "openmod initiative" group.
>>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
>>> send an email to openmod-initiat...@googlegroups.com
>>> <mailto:openmod-initiat...@googlegroups.com>.
>>> <https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/openmod-initiative/CAL75FPfKNtWvZsS559R1DehepwR8zjL44LtwujAj%3Dc%3DtsTymug%40mail.gmail.com?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>.
>> --
>> Robbie Morrison
>> Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
>> Phone: +49.30.612-87617
>> --
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
>> Groups "openmod initiative" group.
>> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
>> an email to openmod-initiat...@googlegroups.com
>> <mailto:openmod-initiat...@googlegroups.com>.
>> To view this discussion on the web, visit
>> https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/openmod-initiative/4455c3b6-c139-02f1-78a8-41708283ffd7%40posteo.de
>> <https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/openmod-initiative/4455c3b6-c139-02f1-78a8-41708283ffd7%40posteo.de?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>.
>
> --
> Robbie Morrison
> Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
> Phone: +49.30.612-87617
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "openmod initiative" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
> an email to openmod-initiat...@googlegroups.com
> <mailto:openmod-initiat...@googlegroups.com>.
> To view this discussion on the web, visit
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Tom Brown (he/him)
Professor of Digital Transformation in Energy Systems
Institute of Energy Technology
Technische Universität Berlin

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Robbie Morrison

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Dec 13, 2021, 4:51:42 AM12/13/21
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Hi all, new supporters for the IEA open letter now being recorded here:

with best wishes, Robbie

Florian Dierickx

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Jan 6, 2022, 9:23:19 AM (10 days ago) Jan 6
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Dear Malte, Robbie, Tom, and all who engaged in your great initiative to push the IEA to open up the data,

I have been following the activities with great interest, and I thought this news item (published 2 hours ago) might be of interest to the community: https://www.qcintel.com/article/exclusive-iea-proposes-to-make-all-its-data-freely-available-3540.html (through https://twitter.com/JKempEnergy/status/1479053071669997569?s=20). For the sake of 'keeping a trace', hereby a copy paste:

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - The International Energy Agency has proposed to make all its data and analysis freely available following calls from academics late last year, Quantum has learned, in a major move that is likely to accelerate data transparency in the energy sector as the world prepares to reduce dependency on fossil fuel.

The institution is currently largely funded by member countries such as the US, Japan and European countries, but it relies on subscriptions for around a quarter, or €7.2 million ($8.1m), of its core annual budget.

The IEA also receives additional funds in the form of voluntary contributions from member states interested in researching a particular topic.

Fatih Birol, the agency's executive director proposed the move, which was approved at a governing board late last year, but still needs to be greenlighted by member countries at the next ministerial meeting due to be held on February 2-3.

Current members would need to inscrease their contribution to the IEA to cover the budget shortfall or private contributors could step in, Birol said in a note to staff and seen by Quantum.

"I am hopeful that we may be able to find a creative solution with the support of several members and large philanthropists that could permit us to make it a public good, in the interests of boosting market transparency and promoting good energy/climate decision making," wrote Birol in an email to staff in late December.

The IEA did not comment when contacted by Quantum on Thursday.

Hannah Ritchie, senior researcher at Our World in Data (OWID), the online database for open source data, wrote a tribune in Nature magazine last October followed by an online article calling on the IEA to drop its paywall for the benefit of scientific research.

"To understand the problems the world faces and see how we can make progress we need accessible, high-quality data. It needs to be global in scope – leaving no country absent from the conversation – and it needs to cover the range of metrics needed to understand the energy system: this includes primary energy, final energy, useful energy, the breakdown of the electricity mix, end-sector breakdowns of energy consumption, and the CO2 emissions that each sector produces," said Ritchie.

"This data exists. It is produced by the IEA. But the IEA only makes a fraction of their data publicly available, and keeps the rest behind very costly paywalls. This is despite the fact that the IEA is largely funded through public money from its member countries," she added.

Our World in Data was funded in 2015 by Oxford University researcher Max Roser to create a centralised, open and free database available online.

In September 2021, Roser asked his Twitter followers what dataset they would like to access for free, and many mentioned the IEA data.

The IEA employs around 200 analysts based in Paris, France, who compile data for all energy sectors and write research.

While the IEA was created initially as a cooperation body during the oil crises of the 1970s, its role has largely evolved in recent years, and it now sees climate change research as one of its main missions.


Best regards,

Florian

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Florian Dierickx
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+32 491 75 75 71
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Robbie Morrison

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Jan 6, 2022, 10:18:49 AM (10 days ago) Jan 6
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Many thanks Florian.  I have just forward this to Hannah Ritchie and also contacted The Guardian newspaper in case they want to report on this development.  Full marks to Fatih Birol.  Robbie.

Robbie Morrison

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Jan 6, 2022, 2:04:15 PM (10 days ago) Jan 6
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Hello all

Hannah Ritchie and her colleague Max Roser have just blogged on the need to now get IEA member states on board to provide the necessary funding:

Worth noting that, in this context, the German government just "raked in a record 12.5 billion euros from European and national emissions trading programmes in 2021":

So some fraction of a million or so EUR for the IEA for lost data sales should not be hard to find in the case of Germany?

Those who have written to their national governments might like to write again and/or reply?  And others can draft fresh letters.  I will contact the European Commission in relation to the European Union.

with best wishes, Robbie

Robbie Morrison

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Jan 7, 2022, 5:40:10 PM (9 days ago) Jan 7
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Hello all

My open letter to the European Commission is now on the openmod forum:

Feel free to recycle the text when writing to your own national governments.  The next IEA member country meeting is scheduled for 02 February 2022, so the sooner the better!

with best wishes, Robbie

Robbie Morrison

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Jan 10, 2022, 1:08:29 PM (6 days ago) Jan 10
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Hi all

More pressure on the IEA member countries in this short and sweet report:

The article quotes Barry who also signed our open letter:

Barry McMullin is an engineering professor at Dublin City University in Ireland. He told Climate Home News: "Our focus is on energy system decarbonisation at a national level. An element of that is trying to downscale IEA global scenarios and figure out whether or how well they align with our more bottom up/local national analysis … having unencumbered access to the IEA datasets (and ultimately to their models!) will certainly facilitate us in this kind of study."

If you can, email your national energy minister if your country is also an IEA member. The key meeting is 2–3 February 2022.

Some new background on the openmod forum that might assist:

I think we are tantalizingly close to winning this round?

cheers, Robbie

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