Long range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) System

From Open Energy Information

Logo: Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System
The Stockholm Energy Institute's Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System is a modeling software program that enables the assessment of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollutant emissions from all sectors of an economy.


The Long range Energy Alternatives Planning System, or LEAP is a software tool from the Stockholm Environment Institute which assists in energy policy analysis.[1]It is an integrated modeling tool that can be used to track energy consumption, production and resource extraction in all sectors of an economy. It can be used to account for both energy sector and non-energy sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources and sinks. In addition to tracking GHGs, LEAP can also be used to analyze emissions of local and regional air pollutants, making it well-suited to studies of the climate co-benefits of local air pollution reduction.

LEAP facilitates medium- to long-term modeling of different emissions scenarios as well as comparison and analysis of these scenarios to assess their energy requirements, environment impacts, and social costs and benefits. Different reduction policies or options may be modeled separately or as part of an integrated framework. LEAP can be used as a database for baseline and historical data; as a forecasting tool for modeling future energy supply and demand; and as an analysis tool that can compare options and feed into target-setting and strategic plan development.

LEAP can perform multiple types of analysis, including "Demand Analysis" (which models end-use energy consuming activities), "Transformation Analysis" (which models the conversion and transportation of energy from its extraction through its final consumption), "Resource Analysis" (which is a dynamic database of the resources used to fuel the activities in the demand category), and "Environmental Analysis" (which models environmental loadings--e.g., GHG or pollutant emissions--for all devices in the Demand Analysis and all fuels in the Transformation Analysis). Cost-benefit analysis capabilities (based on the social cost of resources) are also included, as are non-energy related effects (e.g., waste and refrigeration equipment emissions). These analyses may also be combined to conduct an Integrated Energy Planning analysis.

Introduction to LEAP: http://www.energycommunity.org/default.asp?action=47

Download LEAP: http://www.energycommunity.org/default.asp?action=40

LEAP Applications: http://www.energycommunity.org/default.asp?action=45

LEAP workshops: http://www.energycommunity.org/default.asp?action=104

LEAP Dissemination policy described here: http://www.energycommunity.org/default.asp?action=43

Inputs and Outputs

Below are descriptions of the inputs and outputs for the tool.

Inputs include:

LEAP is highly flexible in terms of the types of data and degree of customization it can support. In LEAP, the user creates a unique hierarchical data structure, or "tree," to model a specific energy system. The types of data entered into each "branch" depend on the type of branch (e.g., category, fuel, or indicator branches) and the properties the user establishes for that branch. The model architecture and assumptions must be specified by the user and can facilitate analysis at any level that data is available, from high-level aggregated energy consumption to detailed end-use data. Users must specify which analysis components (e.g., energy suppliers, users, and sectors) to include in the model.

The data required depends on the modules and components that the user includes. Typical data requirements include macroeconomic variables (e.g., population, household size, production of energy intensive materials); energy demand data (e.g., fuel use by sector, usage breakdown by end-use devise, technology cost and performance); energy supply data (e.g., capital and O&M costs, performance efficiency, capacity factor); and technology options (e.g., costs, performance, percent of new or existing stock replaced each year).

Through its Technology and Environmental Database, LEAP contains default emission factors for energy consuming and energy producing technologies; however, the user may also customize emission factors, overriding the defaults. LEAP allows users to input either simple numbers or mathematical expressions to model certain aspects of the energy system.

Outputs include:

LEAP is capable of displaying results as charts, tables, or, in some cases, GIS (Geographical Information System) maps. Results are as varied as the inputs to the tool but include current and projected energy demand, fuel consumption, costs, and emissions according to sector, end use, or other user-specified variables. LEAP also displays an "energy balance" for a particular modeled system, which includes information such as energy consumption, conversion, and production according to fuel type. The program can also generate a cost-benefit summary report, which provides a comparative overview of costs and benefits of different scenarios relative to the baseline scenario.


Because the user builds an energy system within the model, specifying all applicable energy consumers and suppliers, LEAP may be used at practically any scale, from utilities to cities or regions; in fact, LEAP has been used by many countries to develop national-level inventories to report to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

LEAP includes a Technology and Environmental Database that provides information on the technical characteristics, costs, and environmental impacts of hundreds of energy technologies. The quantitative data included in this database is automatically incorporated into LEAP. The database also includes information on the availability, appropriateness, and cost-effectiveness of these technologies.


LEAP is free only to students and nonprofit, governmental or academic operations in developing countries. All other users must pay a licensing fee.

LEAP is an optimization tool.


  1. 1.0 1.1  "LEAP Homepage"
  2.  "List of Publications using LEAP modeling"
  3.  "Wikipedia Article"