System Planning Test (SPLAT) Models for Africa

System Planning Test (SPLAT) capacity expansion models are a key component and product of IRENA’s support to African countries. Built using the MESSAGE software, the agency has developed SPLAT models covering 47 African countries across the five African power pools. These models form the basis of IRENA's Planning and Prospects for Renewable Power in Africa report series. Most recently, the SPLAT-MESSAGE framework has been endorsed as the official planning tool for the development of the African Continental Power Systems Master Plan (CMP), an initiative led by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) with the technical and financial support of the European Union (EU).

The IRENA SPLAT models are uniquely calibrated to represent national supply structures and regional interconnections, and they allow national energy planners to assess a wide range of least-cost supply scenarios. The models are built with IRENA’s rich renewable energy databases, comprising up-to-date data on technology cost and performance and resource potentials. The agency has also developed user-friendly data sheets and interfaces for initial development and ongoing enhancements of these models. 

The SPLAT models are developed primarily to provide a robust starting point for IRENA’s capacity building programmes on energy planning. IRENA conducts these training programmes at regional and national levels. The trainings focus on the development and application of calibrated SPLAT models for defining and undertaking energy planning scenarios, as well as developing national energy masterplan documents.

SPLAT Model files and Analysis Reports 

SPLAT models have also been used to carry out regional analyses covering different Africa regional power pools. Results from these model-based analyses have contributed to IRENA’s Planning and Prospects for Renewable Power report series: 

Results of the past and the latest SPLAT model analyses across Africa can be accessed and visualized through an interactive web based dashboard. Interested stakeholders can also freely access the model files underlying the analyses above by filling in a request form.