An SEI researcher and trainees in Pakistan look at a laptop computer during a training on SEI's energy modelling software, LEAP

SEI researcher Jessica Slater, right, works with trainees in Pakistan to learn LEAP, SEI’s flagship energy modelling software. Photo: SEI

Pakistan faces an energy crisis.

Electricity demand far outpaces its supply, resulting in daily blackouts for hours. Energy prices are increasing for residents and the government struggles to secure an adequate supply of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) while its domestic reserves are rapidly depleting.

It all stunts the country’s growth and commercial activity and falls short of meeting its socioeconomic needs. Yet energy demand is only increasing. According to Pakistan’s Integrated Energy Planning for Sustainable Development agency (IEP) , accounting for all energy sources, the country’s energy consumption increased from 12 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) to more than 52 Mtoe in 2020 – and that’s projected to jump to 99.2 Mtoe by 2030.

In response, the Government of Pakistan (GoP) established an Energy Planning and Resource Centre (EPRC) to develop an Integrated Energy Planning system with the goal of providing sustainable, reliable and cost-effective energy.

To help decision-makers develop informed policy, the EPRC, with support from USAID, invited SEI researchers to train 20 government employees from a diverse set of public agencies – and one USAID contractor – on how to use the SEI’s flagship Low Emissions Analysis Platform software. Known as LEAP, the tool generates energy models for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment.

SEI scientists Silvia Ulloa and Jessica Slater conducted the five-day training at the beginning of August in the Pakistan Planning and Management Institute in Islamabad. They taught the participants how to model energy demand, energy supply, emissions and scenarios in LEAP, as well as perform cost-benefit analysis and optimization modelling using the complementary energy modelling software, NEMO. Trainees practiced inputting various policies into a LEAP model and analysed their impacts and costs.

Two female SEI researchers stand on either side of a participant of the LEAP energy modelling software training in Islamabad, Pakistan, smiling at a camera

SEI scientist Silvia Ulloa, left, and researcher Jessica Slater, right, flank a participant of the LEAP energy modelling training in Pakistan at a closing ceremony. Photo: SEI

“The info provided here has really (piqued) my interest in working on demand and supply forecasting and integrating energy and environment together to make a model for IEP,” one participant wrote. “It is a great value addition in my profile and I am looking forward to working on it in detail in the future.”

Pakistan’s Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, Deputy Mission Director of USAID-Pakistan David Young, and a member of Pakistan’s Energy Planning Commission, Waqas Bin Najib, attended a closing ceremony for the training.

In comments to the attendees, Iqbal spoke to the importance of data-driven energy policy to foster development and the need to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

Participants foresee applying their new knowledge for developing detailed bottom-up projections of energy demand, integrated energy planning using cost-optimization, and conducting an integrated evaluation of policy scenarios and new technologies, assessing their impacts on costs and GHG emissions.

LEAP is available free to students worldwide and people in low- and middle-income countries. With more than 57,000 users to date, LEAP has helped inform energy policy and research in more than 190 countries worldwide.

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The Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) is a powerful, versatile system for energy planning and climate change mitigation assessment.