Capacity building

The Roundtable Initiative supports improved strategic energy planning and modelling capacity of key national institutions (both technical and political). The end goal is to foster an energy planning ecosystem that would see capacity built into (and ultimately delivered by) self-sustaining national Centres of Excellence that would effectively interface with ‘energy planning educated’ government users.

One of the key initiatives the Roundtable is supporting is the Energy Modelling Platform for Africa (EMP-A). The EMP-A is a capacity building initiative jointly funded and organised by African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the World Bank Group (WBG), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Division of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UK Department for International Development (UKAID-DFID), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the OpTIMUS community and a number of African and international governmental organizations.

The EMP-A is organised as a Summer School where technical government officials involved in national energy and electricity planning projects, analysts and academics have intensive hands-on training in a suite of open-source planning tools (models) relevant to energy for sustainable development. The EMP-A 2019 was held at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (14-29 January) and involved training tracks on:

  • Least-cost geospatial electrification modelling using the Open Source Spatial Electrification Toolkit (

  • Energy system modelling using the Open Source Energy Modelling System (

  • Data and software management for geospatial planning using QGIS (

Summer Schools are closed by a High Level Dialogue bringing together representatives from major international and regional organisations active in the energy planning space to enable an enriching discussion on: i) supporting human and institutional capacity in Africa; ii) development of centres of excellence for energy planning in Africa; and iii) promotion of efficient and widespread use of open source modelling tools in support of efficient and effective implementation of the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and Africa's Agenda 2063.

Similar Energy Modelling Platforms are being developed in other global regions. More information can be found on the OpTIMUS Community website. Furthermore, a similar format for a global capacity building initiative has been used by the Summer School on Modelling Tools for Sustainable Development that is held every year in Trieste, Italy, at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO). The latest Summer School in Trieste was held during 10-28 June 2019 and saw the participation of trainees from 21 countries.