2023 Open Source Sustainability Ecosystem Report
The “2023 Open Source Sustainability Ecosystem” from LF Energy, developed in partnership with Protontypes, provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the landscape of open source sustainability projects, identifies those having the biggest impact, as well as gaps that stakeholders across the energy industry should look to fill.
A total of 1,339 active projects were analyzed and grouped into fields by their primary areas of focus. Projects were then analyzed based on their popularity, longevity, programming languages, licenses, number of contributors, organizational diversity, and other factors.
45% of all identified projects were found within biosphere, hydrosphere, water supply and quality, energy system modeling, mobility and transportation, and buildings and heating. Other areas see a much more limited number of open source projects, such as sustainable investment, representing only 1.15%, and emission observation and modeling, representing only 2.1%. These represent areas where developers and organizations can focus efforts to make a significant impact on sustainability.
Analysis of the types of organizations creating open source sustainability projects found that 25.8% are community-driven (i.e. do not have an institutional affiliation), 23.4% come from academia, 15.9% from governments, 14.3% from for-profit enterprises, 10.8% from non-profit organizations, and 9.7% from collaborative consortia.
Following the analysis of the open source sustainability ecosystem, the report goes on to make more than 20 recommendations for effectively supporting and building capacity for open source in sustainability. Some of these include:
- Enhancing collaboration between state and non-state actors
- Closing the knowledge gap on the environmental impact of industry
- Adapting and extending existing open source solutions to the global south
- Establishing an open earth intelligence incubator
- Applying “open first” criteria when funding sustainability technologies
- Developing open data commons in conjunction with open source code
- Providing maintainers with training and support to preserve projects