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Mitigation and adaptation: the LEAP tool for assessing emissions-energy trade-offs

LEAP (Low Emissions Analysis Platform) is a powerful, versatile software system for integrated energy planning and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation assessment. LEAP was previously known as the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning tool.
Multiple Authors
  • Level: Introductory
  • Time commitment: 1.5 hour
  • Learning product: Summary of tool
  • Sector: water, energy
  • Language: English
  • Certificate available: No


LEAP, the Low Emissions Analysis Platform, is a powerful, versatile software system for integrated energy, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and air pollution abatement planning. It is a modelling tool for energy, environmental, and economic analysis that can be used to explore co-benefits of climate mitigation, including for air quality and health. LEAP is used by many countries for informing energy policy, climate mitigation policy, and supporting air pollution policy analysis at the national, multi-national or sub-national scales.

LEAP is available free of charge to qualified academic, governmental, and nonprofit organizations based in low and middle-income countries and to students worldwide. Consulting companies, utilities and other businesses can access LEAP through a licensing arrangement. A read-only version of LEAP is also available at no cost to all users.

LEAP: Connecting energy and health

Countries can now model energy storage and assess the health impacts of indoor air pollution for different groups including women and children. This has been enabled by new features including: energy storage modeling; a new super-fast optimization modeling framework called NEMO (Next Energy Modeling system for Optimization); two new ways to visualize results for mitigation analysis; ability to model the health impacts of indoor air pollution and to disaggregate results by age and gender; and GIS-based mapping capabilities.

Read more about LEAP’s ability to assess the impacts of indoor air pollution.

LEAP: Connecting water and energy

Water-energy trade-offs are rapidly gaining attention around the world, and recent versions of LEAP make it possible to explore these issues with powerful modeling tools. To achieve this, LEAP has been closely integrated with SEI’s water planning software, WEAP, which has also been upgraded to link to LEAP.

A new release of SEI’s LEAP system, used by thousands of organizations in more than 190 countries, includes multiple performance enhancements, new features, and close integration with SEI’s Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system.

“Understanding energy and water connections is critical to the success of any efforts to expand energy access, increase renewable energy production, and address climate change” Dr. Charles Heaps, LEAP developer and senior scientist at SEI’s U.S. Centre

“Understanding energy and water connections is critical to the success of any efforts to expand energy access, increase renewable energy production, and address climate change”, says Dr. Charles Heaps, developer of LEAP and a senior scientist at SEI’s U.S. Center. “Integration with WEAP makes LEAP considerably more powerful; we hope our users will take advantage of these important new capabilities” (Charles Heaps)

Who is LEAP for?

LEAP is used by:

  • Government Agencies
  • Academics
  • Non-governmental Organizations
  • Consultants
  • Utility Companies

LEAP is becoming the de facto standard for countries undertaking GHG mitigation assessments and creating Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDs).

For example, LEAP is being used by Mexico to update its climate change mitigation plans, and countries such as Argentina, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, South Korea, Lebanon and Pakistan have used it to help prepare their National Communications on Climate Change to the United Nations. LEAP is also an important tool in the EU-UNDP Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, and SEI used it to help build global climate and energy scenarios to 2050 for a major assessment presented at Rio+20.

Video Introduction

The start of this webinar (especially 0:24-1:09) provides a good introduction to LEAP

Related resources

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