Dr. Charlie Heaps, developer of the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) software tool for energy planning and climate change mitigation assessment, is pleased to announce a new version of the tool.
The newest version of the LEAP system includes a new interactive Scenario Explorer, industrial strength optimization modeling capabilities, an enhanced and simplified user interface, and dramatic performance improvements. LEAP 2014 makes it easier to share and discuss modelling results with non-technical audiences, with improved charts and results tables, and a new Scenario Explorer that lets you explore the implications of different policy choices, using "slider bars" directly connected to key parameters in your underlying LEAP models.
Key new features for 2014 include:
- Improved optimization: LEAP now provides "industrial strength" optimization capabilities by working seamlessly with IBM's CPLEX solver for increased speed and the ability to handle larger data sets.
- Improved costing: Cost-benefit analysis has been improved and made more flexible with the new ability to model stranded costs (i.e. debt payments) on pre-existing capacity, and a new LoanPayment function to calculate remaining annualized costs.
- Tags: We have improved LEAP's organization skills. You can now use color-coded tags to classify technologies that belong to more than one category; for example, power plants could be tagged as thermal, renewable or nuclear, or as pre-existing or new types of power plants.
- New "Create Branches from Excel" wizard: Much of the data required for energy and climate planning is available in tabular form in spreadsheets. A new wizard lets you create the technology data in your LEAP models by directly importing from these spreadsheet tables, reducing tedious data entry tasks and automatically converting data into consistent measurement units.
- Simplified and more robust user interface: Operation of LEAP is now simpler and more consistent across different views, with new one-click options and several interface refinements, especially to auto-complete features that help users write their model expressions. Charts and tables have been upgraded making them more beautiful and easier to interpret, and directly usable in your reports.
- Thoroughly updated help: LEAP's help files reflect all the changes in LEAP 2014, with improved formatting and additional pages devoted to describing important concepts such as capacity expansion planning and the new Scenario Explorer and Tags features.
As always, LEAP is distributed by SEI at no charge to academic, nonprofit and government organizations in the developing world and to students worldwide. In the last year alone, more than 2000 people actively used the tool, and the LEAP online community has now grown to over 22,000 members in 191 countries.
The new version is fully backwards compatible with previous versions. Older data sets will be automatically upgraded when opened in the new version. LEAP also creates backups of previous versions for safety.
A detailed description of new features is available here: http://energycommunity.org/whatsnew
You can download the LEAP here: http://energycommunity.org/download