Unit-level power plant datasets

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Matthew Gidden

Apr 19, 2021, 5:43:29 AMApr 19
to openmod initiative, Jonas Hörsch, Tina Aboumahboub, Gaurav Ganti
Dear openmod community,

Many energy modellers have used the Platts World Electric Power Plants (WEPP) as a go-to unit-level power plant database. This is of course not an open dataset, but as openmod is also a community of practice, I thought it good to pose the following question to the group.

We recently communicated with Platts and discovered that they are no longer maintaining this dataset. I assume others have also run into this issue. I was curious, then, what others' plans are for identifying other primary datasets of global coverage of power plant units?

We have started to look around, having first reviewed a list on the openmod wiki [1]. GEO looks most potentially promising [2], but also is not updated frequently. We also dug into WRI's power plant database [3] and Global Energy Monitor [4]. Neither provide the same resolution and richness of Platts - i.e. plant vs unit-level.

In any case, we were wondering what this community thought - beyond what already exists on the wiki.


Matthew Gidden, Ph.D.
Team Leader Modelling & Mitigation Pathways Analysis, Climate Analytics
Guest Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Climate Analytics
Ritterstr. 3  |  10969 Berlin, Germany
+49 (0) 30 259 22 95 36

Zane Selvans

May 4, 2021, 1:05:58 PMMay 4
to Matthew Gidden, openmod initiative, Jonas Hörsch, Tina Aboumahboub, Gaurav Ganti
Hey Matt,

Is there any documentation of the deprecation of the Platts dataset online? Searching around a little I'm finding links to, like, the Korean and Portuguese versions from March 2018, but the english page on the S&P site does seem to have vanished.  We (Catalyst) were on a call with folks from GEM the other day and they seemed to think that it was still being maintained. Might S&P be replacing it with something else, rather than continuing the Platts product line?

I don't know if it would be useful, but we've also been working with some folks at Carbon Tracker on creating a crosswalk table connecting the GEM IDs with our US-based Public Utility Data Liberation (PUDL) Project so that the two sets of data can be used together, though that would only help with rich data for the US fleet. Especially if the commercial worldwide dataset is being deprecated, it might be a good time to see whether there are other national energy system datasets which could be integrated with a global identifier scheme at the generator, unit, or plant level.

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Zane A. Selvans, PhD
Chief Data Wrangler
Catalyst Cooperative
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May 10, 2021, 3:56:51 AMMay 10
to zane.s...@catalyst.coop, matthew...@climateanalytics.org, openmod-i...@googlegroups.com

Hey all,


Just to take up the threads again: Recently I’ve been in touch with two different research groups who are purchasing access to the WEPP data base from S&P and none of them got the information that maintenance will be stopped. They rather got contracts for the next three years. However, these three years mean access and no updates later on. So at least promising updates and stopping maintenance at the same time appears a little contradicting.


And as we’re already talking, a question into the community, I’d really appreciate some opinions to the following question: What have been your main reasons for purchasing this database?

  • Details? (Which? From Matt’s email I learned it might be the spatial resolutions down to blocks. But what are the important parameters we need per block? For me it would be mainly the efficiencies which are hard to find elsewhere, right?)
  • Frequent updates?
  • World-wide coverage?
  • Consistency?
  • Ease of use?



Robbie Morrison

May 10, 2021, 4:33:54 AMMay 10
to openmod-i...@googlegroups.com

Hi all

On the topic of accuracy, here is a modified screenshot from the mini‑workshop talk by Sylvain Quoilin on the Dispa‑SET Africa model.  Angola (AO) is on the far left.  The databases available to researchers understate the installed capacity by about 50% or more.

More here:

And here:

with best wishes, Robbie

To view this discussion on the web, visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/openmod-initiative/d157e99b91384ed08dd746850a9a8fc1%40dlr.de.
Robbie Morrison
Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49.30.612-87617
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