The energy transition from fossil to renewable requires a major change in the construction and the operation of the energy system. The energy system is a complex system with numerous relations and dependencies. Therefore, the impact of possible changes is hard to determine. For instance, the transition from heating with natural gas to electrical heating has impact on: gas transport network, electricity supply, required insolation level of build environment and many other facets of the energy system. In order to constructively reason on these changes of the energy system, an objective and complete information basis is necessary. This leads to an integral understanding of energy system. This document provides a description of the Energy System Description Language (ESDL), a first step to an integral understanding of the energy system.

What is ESDL?

The Energy System Description Language (ESDL) is a modelling language created for modelling the components in an energy system and their relations towards each other. Furthermore ESDL is capable of expressing the dynamic behaviour of components in the energy system. For instance the power consumption of an neighbourhood. ESDL describes components by their basic functionality (so called Energy Capabilities), these are modelled in 5 abstract categories: Production, Consumption, Storage, Transport and Conversion. ESDL enables energy modelers to model a complex energy system in a generic way. The language is machine readable so makers of energy transition calculation tools and GIS applications can support ESDL in order to enforce the interoperability of their products.

Application Areas of ESDL

ESDL can be used:

  • by energy transition calculation tools: common language for energy transition calculation tools. To describe inputs and outputs of those tools.

    This allows for integration of multiple tools.

  • in an Energy Information System: ESDL can be used as a basis for a central energy information system where the energy system of a certain region is registered.

  • as a language for (local) governments to model and share their (local) energy system.

  • to monitor the evolution of an energy system: multiple ESDL snapshots of a certain area over time provide insight in the evolution of an energy system.

  • as a format to share data relevant to energy systems or the energy transition. Examples:

    • CO2 emissions per energy carrier

    • Technology factsheets for specific components, brands, types (e.g. a heat pump factsheet that describes its typical parameters)

    • Cost information of assets, or expected cost developments in future

    • Standard configurations or templates of typical parts of the energy system (e.g. a house with a heat pump, solar panels and an EV charging station)

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