PLEXOS World is a global electricity model developed by Maarten Brinkerink and Paul Deane in University College Cork Ireland. It simulates the hourly operation of over 28,000 power plants in the global power system and is based on publically available data for the year 2015 from a small number of high quality sources.
How was it developed?
PLEXOS World draws on significant public data sets from the World Resource Institute for power plant types, location and sizes. It uses hourly wind and solar data from Renewable Ninja for wind and solar locations and regional fossil fuel prices from BP statistical review. Hourly demand profiles and cross-border transmission capacities are retrieved through a variety of sources. The model was developed in PLEXOS 8 and should only be used with version 8 or higher.
How can I access PLEXOS World?
PLEXOS world is freely available to all PLEXOS users. Academic users can access it through the Energy Exemplar Academic Program.
PLEXOS World is not a commercial grade model and has not been benchmarked against commercial data sets. The strength of the model is that it offers a consistent and coherent view of the global power system and is a powerful tool for high level assessments. The weakness in the model is limited data quality for some regions and generator types. The Beta version of PLEXOS World currently has a poor portrayal of hydro inflows. This will be improved in future releases.
Do I need to be a PLEXOS Expert to use the model?
Users with a basic understanding of PLEXOS can use the model. The model architecture is set up in an intuitive format and the PLEXOS Memo section contain tool tips and data information. Users must have a good understanding of power systems.
Do I need a supercomputer to run the global model?
No. PLEXOS world is built in PLEXOS 8 and is incredibly powerful and fast at handling and crunching data.
PLEXOS World is set up so users can ‘switch off’ any continent or Country to make run times shorter. A good quality workstation with high memory availability is sufficient.
What do I do if I find errors/bugs/problems or have suggestions for improvements?
PLEXOS World will be a continually evolving model and it is inevitable that errors and bugs will appear. Please e-mail any model bugs or suggested improvements to Paul and Maarten.
I want to use PLEXOS Works for research-any suggestions?
PLEXOS World allows researcher ‘hit the ground running’ without having to build a software or model.
The model offers a world of possibilities for research with other PLEXOS features.
The Long Term Capacity expansion features can be used to extrapolate and understand future energy systems.
The Integrated gas model can be used to gain insights into gas and electricity interactions.
The Integrated Water model can be used to understand water constraint issues in any region in the world.
Can I run the model at sub hourly resolution?
Yes-PLEXOS World can be run as low as 5-minute resolution. To make the solve time manageable users should only model countries/regions of interest. See the PLEXOS helpfiles for changing temporal resolution
How can I visualize the data?
Users can use the PLEXOS Maps feature in PLEXOS or 3D Maps in Microsoft excel.
 Pfenninger, Stefan and Staffell, Iain (2016). Long-term patterns of European PV output using 30 years of validated hourly reanalysis and satellite data. Energy 114, pp. 1251-1265. doi: 10.1016/j.energy.2016.08.060
 Staffell, Iain and Pfenninger, Stefan (2016). Using Bias-Corrected Reanalysis to Simulate Current and Future Wind Power Output. Energy 114, pp. 1224-1239. doi: 10.1016/j.energy.2016.08.068