Youth Virtual Training – Energy System Modelling for the Energy Transition

As part of their agenda at engaging and empowering young people in the global energy transition, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the SDG 7 Youth Constituency collaborated to promote skills and knowledge building for youth to become effective agents for change in their communities through a virtual training on energy system modeling for young energy planning practitioners, students and engineers.

The training aimed to increase the skill set of the audience joining from different parts of world to contribute more effectively to their respective regional and national energy transition planning efforts. It introduced the techno-economic planning of energy and power systems and provide the participants with an overview of different models and tools in use by IRENA. Contents of the training largely entailed case-study based material that showcases the context specific applications of IRENA models in country level/regional/global settings.


Participants were able to grasp following knowledge and skills:

  • What are the essential ingredients of a robust energy transition planning?
  • How various energy system models differ in their objectives, underlying principles, data needs and other factors?
  • Insights on context specific model applications in country-level/regional/global case-studies
  • Insights on the essential elements of energy transition pathways envisioned by IRENA

The virtual training consisted of several presentations followed by Q&A session with audience.

To facilitate participation of the audience from different time zones across the globe, the training segments were divided across two days.

  • Day 1 – 14 September, Wednesday, from 16.00 GST – It aimed to facilitate participation from America, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and Europe
  • Day 2 – 15 September, Thursday, from 13.00 GST – It aimed to facilitate participation from Asia and Pacific


The training consisted of seven segments as per the below tables.

Day 1


Segment theme

Brief description

Time scheme



General introduction to energy planning

Contents included insights on general energy planning (stages, tools, institutional frameworks etc.) in national settings, designing energy system transition scenarios and linkage to climate dimension.

30 min

+10 min Q&A

Ricardo Gorini, Senior Programme Officer – Renewable Energy Roadmaps


Introduction to demand scenarios


Contents included a brief overview of IRENA’s bottom-up approach to analyse energy end-use sectors including electricity.

30 min

+10 min Q&A

Rodrigo Leme, Bioenergy Analyst


Introduction to Socio-economic modelling

Contents included a brief overview of IRENA’s socio-economic analyses through the soft-link between IRENA’s bottom-up approach and a macro-econometric model.

45 min

+15 min Q&A

Gondia Sokhna Seck, Programme Officer – Policy Advice


Long-term planning of renewable energy

Contents included overview and example case-study of IRENA SPLAT modelling. SPLAT models are built on IAEA’s MESSAGE tool. They aim to determine least-cost supply expansion of national/regional power systems in long term future starting from a given set of supply options with differing cost and performance characteristics.

30 min

+10 min Q&A

Bilal Hussain, Associate Programme Officer – Modelling the Global Energy Transition


Day 2


Global Atlas for Renewable Energy

Contents included the description of the Global Atlas platform – datasets and tools, that aims to support renewable potential assessment.

30 min + 15 min Q&A

Imen Gherboudj, Programme Officer – Resource Assessment


Planning for Power System Flexibility


Content included an overview of IRENA's FlexTool and its application for assessing power system flexibility. It also includes the discussion on sources of power system flexibility, the FlexTool modelling process and IRENA case studies on Flexibility analysis.

30 min

+15 min Q&A

Danial Saleem, Associate Programme Officer – Power System Flexibility


Network planning with high variable renewable energy shares and innovative solutions

Contents included overview of power system modelling for network assessments and example case-studies that employed Industry standard software (power factory).

  • Understanding the concept of power system operation, variable renewable electricity generation and their difference from conventional electricity generation sources
  • The challenges posed by VRE integration in system operation
  • The studies required and modelling tools to ensure a smooth integration of VRE
  • Solutions that can help in ensuring smooth integration of VRE.
  • IRENA case studies on grid assessments.


45 min

+15 min Q&A

Gayathri Nair, Associate Programme Officer – Renewable Energy Grid Integration

Only 50 youth were selected for this first edition of the Youth Virtual Training – Energy System Modelling for the Energy Transition.

An attendance certificate was issued by IRENA upon completion of the virtual training.