Unique features of the Spine energy system modelling framework

Spine Horizon 2020 Energy System Modelling Project

Spine is a Horizon 2020 based project to develop an Open-source toolbox for modelling integrated energy systems.

As shares of variable renewables increase in systems driven by an urgent need to decarbonise, and energy system modelling methodologies have needed to evolve in order to better capture the impacts of these technologies. Increased electrification has led to increased interaction and coupling between sectors such as transport, heating, gas and electricity. Modelling these impacts requires models and methodologies that capture more scope and more detail.

High-Level Desgn of the Spine Open Source Energy System Modelling Framwork

As a result, modelling tasks have become more complex and require more and different data. The members of this     consortium have each been working on this challenge for many years and have been involved in other modelling projects together such as Wilmar, Epiphron and Backbone. The Spine project was a tremendously exciting opportunity to work together again and incorporate all the learning so far into a new, open platform. Spine has been designed from the ground up to comprehensively address well-known modelling challenges like complex workflows, more detail in investment models, sector coupling and long-term storage.

Spine Multi-sector Energy Modelling Framework

Spine is also different in that it has addressed the data management and workflow challenges in a comprehensive way and is a central component of the flexibility that makes Spine an incredibly powerful modelling tool. Energy Reform was a key member of the consortium with involvement across the project’s full scope and leading work package 2 on the development of the Spine Toolbox. This project demonstrates Energy Reform’s our deep modelling expertise and our ability to quickly and efficiently implement modelling methodologies tailored to answer specific research questions which fully address the modelling challenges associated with the energy transition.


European Commission

Completion Date

Sep 2021


Toolbox Development Leader