The importance of open data and software: Is energy research lagging behind?

Stefan Pfenninger*, Joseph DeCarolis, Lion Hirth, Sylvain Quoilin, Iain Staffell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Energy policy often builds on insights gained from quantitative energy models and their underlying data. As climate change mitigation and economic concerns drive a sustained transformation of the energy sector, transparent and well-founded analyses are more important than ever. We assert that models and their associated data must be openly available to facilitate higher quality science, greater productivity through less duplicated effort, and a more effective science-policy boundary. There are also valid reasons why data and code are not open: ethical and security concerns, unwanted exposure, additional workload, and institutional or personal inertia. Overall, energy policy research ostensibly lags behind other fields in promoting more open and reproducible science. We take stock of the status quo and propose actionable steps forward for the energy research community to ensure that it can better engage with decision-makers and continues to deliver robust policy advice in a transparent and reproducible way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Data
  • Modelling
  • Open data
  • Open source
  • Reproducibility
  • Transparency


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