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Abstract — A variety of models have emerged in the field of energy system analysis to answer a wide range of research
questions centred around a sustainable future for the energy sector. Even models designed to address similar
issues often have a different focus or modelling approach. Thus, model experiments are a vital tool to provide an
overview of the range of models and enable decision-makers to make meaningful model choices. Such comparisons are executed based on a harmonised data set to ensure a high degree of comparability. In the MODEX
project cluster, six model experiments, including 40 energy system models, were conducted, and efforts were
made to harmonise the input data within the individual comparison and beyond them in the consortium. The
experiences and findings of the consortium on how data harmonisation could be performed are presented in this
paper. In particular, the focus lies on data transparency to ensure a high degree of reproducibility. A key finding
is that while model heterogeneity complicates harmonisation, an early focus on data research and scenario
design promotes the creation of a common data set. The metadata collection can provide a significant advantage
for the use of model experiment results by external scientists and the data acquisition process itself because of the
predefined machine-readable and standardised format.
Erschienen in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Volume 162, July 2022, 112472.