Many countries around the world choose to develop a national energy/electricity sector master plan. For the electricity sector, such plans are often called Integrated Resource Plans. A reliable and up-to-date master plan helps countries to create a stable and predictable investment environment, and provides a framework for the expansion of renewable energy deployment and the design of suitable energy/electricity sector policies.
Energy system modelling allows system-wide policy assessments that consider supply security, energy access, affordability, environmental impact and financial constraints. IRENA offers support to countries for developing robust national energy master plans. IRENA support aims to build the relevant institutional capacity in partner countries through training on the use of energy planning tools and scenario development. The ultimate objective is for the country to independently prepare and update an energy master plan.
IRENA’s energy planning support utilises the System Planning Tool (SPLAT) model, adapted to the context and energy system of the respective country. SPLAT provides an energy supply optimisation framework to a reference energy system and has been developed by IRENA based on the MESSAGE software from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). SPLAT models reflect the latest expert knowledge on resource availability and cost development trends for various renewable sources.
For details on the national energy planning support programmes in Eswatini (2016-2018) and Sierra Leone (2017 – today):