Many countries around the world choose to develop a national energy/electricity sector masterplan. For the electricity sector, such plans are often called Integrated Resource Plans. A reliable and up-to-date masterplan 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 masterplans. 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 masterplan.
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.
IRENA-Sierra Leone Energy Planning Capacity-Building Programme (July 2017 – currently)
The Republic of Sierra Leone’s government and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are undertaking a joint Energy Planning Capacity-Building Programme. The Programme’s objective is for Sierra Leone to establish a national energy planning unit for energy statistics and long-term energy planning and to gain the capacity to self-dependently prepare and regularly update a national energy masterplan.
In line with the objectives of the Programme, IRENA provides a team of around 20 national energy sector staff (the national ‘working team’) with the means and tools for working with energy sector data, designing energy planning scenarios and developing a comprehensive national energy masterplan document.
The Programme consists of a series of four training courses. This includes training on MESSAGE software, the IRENA System Planning Test (SPLAT) model, data management, scenario design and masterplan development. The Programme also engages with national energy sector decision-makers to ensure that results can be adequately translated into policy and implementation. For details on the specific activities and training courses under the national Energy Planning Capacity-Building Programme:
IRENA-Eswatini Energy Planning Capacity-Building Programme (April 2016 – October 2018)
In 2016, the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini  (then known as Swaziland) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) agreed to hold a joint Energy Planning Capacity-Building Programme.
From April 2016 to October 2018, IRENA provided energy planning support to Estwatini, including trainings on the System Planning Test (SPLAT) least-cost optimization model, data management and scenario development. Based on the trainings, the national experts formed a national Working Team, and applied energy planning tools for both energy demand and supply for preparation of a national energy masterplan. The process of developing the energy masterplan was supported by IRENA as needed. The draft masterplan was presented and discussed at a national stakeholder workshop in 2017. The Energy Masterplan 2034 was approved by cabinet and formally launched on 25 October 2018. For details on the national energy planning support programme: