Open data for electricity modeling: Legal aspects

Paper by Lion Hirth: “Power system modeling is data intensive. In Europe, electricity system data is often available from sources such as statistical offices or system operators. However, it is often unclear if these data can be legally used for modeling, and in particular if such use infringes intellectual property rights. This article reviews the legal status of power system data, both as a guide for data users and for data publishers.

It is based on interpretation of the law, a review of the secondary literature, an analysis of the licenses used by major data distributors, expert interviews, and a series of workshops. A core finding is that in many cases the legality of current practices is doubtful: in fact, it seems likely that modelers infringe intellectual property rights quite regularly. This is true for industry analysis but also academic researchers. A straightforward solution is open data – the idea that data can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose. To be open, it is not sufficient for data to be accessible free of cost, it must also come with an open data license, the most common types of which are also reviewed in this paper….(More)”.