oemof - open energy system modelling framework

The Open Energy Modelling Framework (oemof) is a tool for modelling and analyzing energy systems. It is an open-source software which is composed of flexible modules and can thus be compiled according to different specific needs. This makes it very useful for inter-sector studies.

Currently, research results are very often based on calculations made with energy system models. The details of these models very often remain in the shadows of research institutions, making it difficult for other researchers to understand and verify research results. If system models are inaccurate, the mistakes will not be detected and the whole reliability of the results could be at stake. Also, similar models are developed at different institutions at the same time, instead of joining forces and creating a shared reliable code base.

Joined forces – open for anyone

For oemof, we have chosen a different way. The modelling framework was created by RLI in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (ZNES – University and University of Applied Sciences Flensburg) and Magdeburg University. It is available for the energy system modelling community under the open-source license GPL 3 and was developed and published via GitHub . oemof complies with the Best Practice Rules for Scientific Computing and the Transparency Checklist for Energy System Models

Modular design for custom-made models

oemof‘s structure allows different modelling approaches to coexist within one software framework. So far, we have mainly used the SOLPH library which makes it possible to describe energy systems with linear problems as well as with mixed-integer linear problems (MILP). Many examples that demonstrate how SOLPH works already exist in oemof. In addition, RLI has developed several applications based on oemof that are good examples of what can be achieved with oemof/SOLPH:

  • Urban power and heat sector-coupling in Berlin
  • Modeling of power and supply in eastern Germany

  • Other German and European institutions are also already using oemof for research and teaching.

    oemof is implemented in Python and builds upon different libraries. As our approach has been collaborative from the very beginning and relies on flexible modules, the concept offers maximum freedom for users concerning which functions they wish to employ. The software thus works for a myriad of use cases. As oemof is fully transparent, developers not only have the opportunity to modify and advance the models for their purposes, it also improves the credibility of studies and consulting services for businesses and policy makers that are based on energy system model calculations.

    All energy system researchers and developers are welcome to use oemof and contribute to the framework’s future development!

    Zentrum für nachhaltige Energiesysteme (ZNES)

    Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

    Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
    Result from the oemof-SOLPH example "storage_invest". The power plant and storage performance is illustrated for an exemplary week.

    energy system in oemofExemplary energy system that can be optimized with oemof.


    Guido Pleßmann

    PhD candidate

    Birgit Schachler


    Caroline Möller

    PhD candidate