Capacity building for energy planning and modelling


Many countries and regions around the world choose to develop energy/electricity sector masterplans as part of their planning processes. A reliable and up-to-date masterplan helps to create a stable and predictable investment environment, and provides a framework for renewable energy deployment and the design of suitable energy/electricity sector policies. Robust energy system modelling can underpin such plans and policies by allowing for system-wide considerations of security of supply, energy access, affordability, environmental impacts and investment needs.

    Energy Planning and Modelling Support in Africa

    IRENA provides energy planning capacity building in these areas, at both the national and regional levels, through a mix of online software training and hands-on workshops. Throughout the training activities and the process of developing and updating national energy master plans, IRENA and its expert partners guide country teams with customised technical support, on-demand advisory services and draft output reviews. IRENA’s approach is grounded in the belief that country ownership of the energy planning process is of singular importance for sustainable energy sector development. The Energy Planning Brochure presents the detailed features of IRENA’s energy planning support services and captures the highlights of recent support programmes delivered in Africa. IRENA energy planning capacity building programmes in Africa also benefit from the agency’s Long-Term Energy Scenarios network, which provides insights related to experience and good practice in the region. General enquiries regarding IRENA energy planning support can be submitted at info@irena.org.

African Continental Power Systems Master Plan

IRENA is currently supporting the development of the African Continental Power Systems Masterplan. This ongoing initiative is aimed at establishing a long-term continent-wide planning process for power generation and cross-border interconnection infrastructure involving all five African Power Pools.


Regional Model Analysis and Planning Programme

IRENA provides regional training workshops on best practices in energy planning and grid integration of variable renewables using energy modelling tools. Regional training workshops on long-term energy planning have been provided in various African sub-regions. This regional training serves to familiarise countries with the importance, best practices and tools of energy planning. Regional training can often motivate requests from individual participant countries for bilateral support in energy master plan development.


Master Plan Development Support Programme

At the national level, IRENA’s Masterplan Development Support Programme provides assistance in building and enhancing institutional energy planning capacity within governments through structured, in-depth training for national practitioners. The support is tailored to a country’s specific context and the programme is co-developed with its government. The focus of the programme is to enhance countries’ capacities in the areas of energy data analysis and scenario development using modelling tools for long-term energy planning.


Energy Planning Training Programme for NDCs

In the framework of the Paris Agreement, countries are raising their climate ambition as part of the five-year cycles to revise Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In this context, IRENA provides trainings on long-term energy planning, customized for staff of relevant national ministries, to support the NDC revision process.


System Planning Test (SPLAT) model

For the purpose of capacity building, IRENA’s energy planning support primarily utilises the System Planning Tool (SPLAT) model, adapted to the context and energy system of the respective country. SPLAT models reflect the latest expert knowledge concerning resource availability and cost development trends for various renewable sources.


Coordination with Partners

Beyond its in-house expertise, IRENA maintains a broad network of global, regional and national partners that it engages to provide advice and support for countries’ energy planning needs. Having endorsed the Roundtable Principles for Supporting Strategic Energy Planning, IRENA aims to follow a robust code of conduct in its energy planning activities whilst ensuring coordination with both international and regional partners to improve the effectiveness of its support.