Project Background

The project grew out of frustration with how difficult it is to make use of public data about the US electricity system. In our own climate activism and policy work we found that many non-profit organizations, academic researchers, grassroots climate activists, energy journalists, smaller businesses, and even members of the public sector were scraping together the same data repeatedly, for one campaign or project at a time, without accumulating shared, reusable resources. We decided to try and create a platform that would serve the many folks who have a stake in our electricity and climate policies, but may not have the financial resources to obtain commercially integrated data.

Our energy systems affect everyone, and they are changing rapidly. We hope this shared resource will improve the efficiency, quality, accessibility and transparency of research & analysis related to US energy systems.

These ideas have been explored in more depth in papers from Stefan Pfenninger at ETH Zürich and some of the other organizers of the European Open Energy Modeling Initiative and Open Power System Data project.


We also want to bring best practices from the world of software engineering and data science to energy research and advocacy communities. These papers by Greg Wilson and some of the other organizers of the Software and Data Carpentries are good accessible introductions, aimed primarily at an academic audience: