Background and history
These models require a large amount of input data, such as information about existing power stations, interconnector capacity, yearly electricity consumption, and ancillary service requirements, but also (hourly) time series of load, wind and solar power generation, and heat demand. Fortunately, most of these data are publicly available, from sources such as transmission system operators, regulators, or industry associations.
However, data collection is tedious. The bits and pieces of data are sometimes hard to find, often poorly documented, and almost always tedious to process: files are provided in different formats; downloading requires repetitive manual clicking; data structures between different sources are incompatible; daylight savings time and leap years are treated differently; URLs change frequently; and older data are updated without informing users (and sometimes deleted altogether).
Moreover, the licenses and conditions under which data can be used are often unclear. Regularly, data owners exclude commercial use of their data, putting energy companies and consulting firms in a situation of legal uncertainty.
Double work, poor documentation and legal uncertainty is an unsatisfactory state of affairs. This is why we set up the project Open Power System Data. Read more about the project background, history and design choices in our OPSD paper (free preprint).
The current project phase runs from January 2018 until December 2020 and is carried out by Neon Neue Energieökonomik, Technical University of Berlin, DIW Berlin and ETH Zürich. There will be regular, at least yearly releases of all existing data packages and additions of new variables in the data packages.