E3 offers a unique perspective on energy and environmental policy, thanks to our diverse client base and deep knowledge of energy economics, technology, and regulation.
We are helping shape new energy policies through rigorous analysis for our public sector clients. Our PATHWAYS model provides long-term, economy-wide, decarbonization scenarios that map out trajectories for deployment of low-carbon technologies, illuminate interactions among sectors, predict costs, and identify risks. Policy makers in California relied on our analysis to set the state’s 2030 GHG reduction target and implement cap and trade for the electric sector. E3 has supported regulators and policy makers across North America, including in New York, Idaho, Hawaii, British Columbia, Colorado, and Oregon. We also advise public agencies in India and China.
Private sector clients benefit from our sophisticated understanding of how energy and environmental policies are affecting investment opportunities, asset values, utility operations, and rates. We assist clean technology firms and investors by evaluating the costs and impacts of policies on renewable and fossil generation, transmission and distribution networks, distributed energy resources, electrification, and smart grid applications. Our strategic advice helps electricity and natural gas utilities, project developers, and large energy consumers understand how clean energy policies and goals affect their business decisions.
E3’s services in energy and environmental policy include:
- Policy analysis
- Carbon pricing and market design
- GHG abatement costs and strategies
- Long-term scenario planning
- Best practices in energy and climate policy
- Strategic planning
Energy and environmental policy projects
Cost and Emissions Impacts of Residential Building Electrification in California | Three Utility Study, 2018-19
E3 was retained by three of California’s largest electric utilities – Southern California Edison (SCE), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) – to explore the consumer costs and emissions reduction potential associated with the electrification of California homes. The study examines costs, savings, and emissions for electric and gas appliances in six different home types in geographical areas covering over half the state’s population. Unlike prior studies, it closely evaluates the consumer cost perspective on building electrification and quantifies GHG emissions savings by home type. E3 found that building electrification would deliver lifecycle cost savings for most home types in the study area. For homes with air conditioning – about 80 percent of the total – the economics are particularly strong: all new construction homes and the vast majority (84 percent) of existing single-family homes with A/C would save by going all-electric. E3 also found that electrification would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes – starting today. For example, a Sacramento home built in the 1990s would immediately cut its GHG emissions nearly in half by switching to all-electric appliances; by 2050, with a significantly cleaner electric grid, the GHG savings would grow to over 80 percent (and more, if California achieves carbon neutrality).
E3 supported the development of Maryland’s statewide climate plan in collaboration with the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University. E3 developed a Maryland-specific PATHWAYS model for the project to calculate the costs and emissions reduction potential of various measures across the state’s economy, as well as the timeframes in which they would occur. In the project’s first phase, E3 developed a reference emissions case under existing state energy policies that was presented to the Mitigation Working Group of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change; in the second phase, E3 evaluated deeper GHG reduction scenarios with additional and more aggressive measures. The state’s draft climate plan, released by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in October 2019, encompassed more than 100 climate-saving measures – including investments in efficiency and renewables, adoption of electric vehicles, and better management of farms and forests – to reduce GHG emissions 44 percent below 2006 levels by 2030. The final plan is forthcoming in early 2020.
Deep Decarbonization in a High Renewables Future: Updated Results from the California PATHWAYS model | CEC, 2015–2018
This project evaluates long-term energy scenarios in California through 2050 using the California PATHWAYS model. These scenarios investigate options and costs to achieve a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. Ten mitigation scenarios are evaluated, with each […]
Study of Policies to Decarbonize Electric Sector in the Northwest I Public Generating Pool, 2017 – present
On behalf of the Public Generating Pool (PGP), a group of hydro-owning public power entities in Washington and Oregon, E3 completed a study exploring the effectiveness of a range of policy mechanisms to decarbonize the electric sector. This study used RESOLVE, E3’s optimal capacity expansion model, to develop optimized generation portfolios for the region through 2050 that capture […]
- Pacific Northwest Low Carbon Scenario Analysis – Technical Report
- Pacific Northwest Low Carbon Scenario Analysis
- Public Generating Pool_2018 Pacific NW Scenarios and Sensitivities_Final Report
- Climate Solutions_2018 Pacific NW Scenarios and Sensitivities_Final Report
- National Grid_2018 Pacific NW Scenarios and Sensitivities_Final Report
E3 is supporting the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in developing a detailed GHG analysis to quantify the infrastructure and policy changes necessary to meet state climate and energy goals. We are evaluating the GHG and cost implications of a variety of scenarios that are consistent with New York’s goal of reducing statewide GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. In this work, E3 developed a user-friendly PATHWAYS model on the LEAP software platform for NYSERDA, as well as other modeling tools to support evaluating costs and options to decarbonize the electricity sector.
E3 has been a resource to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Technical Assistance to States program through Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2008. Our projects help state governments better understand how to implement energy efficiency programs and how to make them cost-effective. E3 has advised utility commissioners and senior policy staff in Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Dakota, Illinois, Arizona, and other states on major aspects of their program designs. We provide accurate information, guidance, and background based on our knowledge of various states’ decisions, and share our expertise in standard industry practice.
E3 worked with the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to evaluate the potential of decarbonized pipeline gas fuels and the existing pipeline infrastructure to help meet California’s long-term climate goals. “Decarbonized pipeline gas” refers to gaseous fuels—including biogas—with a net-zero or very low GHG impact. E3 used its PATHWAYS model to evaluate two scenarios, one with heavy electrification of buildings and vehicles and one with a mix of electrification and decarbonized pipeline gas. Both were found capable of meeting the state’s 2050 climate goals with comparable total costs within the ranges of uncertainty that we evaluated. The results of the study suggest that the use of decarbonized gas distributed through the state’s existing pipeline network would complement a low-carbon electrification strategy. SoCalGas has used the results of this study to inform its energy and climate policy positions in California.
E3 supported the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in developing an updated “Scoping Plan” strategy for achieving California’s 2030 greenhouse gas target. California Senate Bill 32 (Pavley, 2016) requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. E3’s analysis evaluated the GHG and cost implications of different 2030 scenarios that are consistent with the state’s current policies and GHG target. For this project, E3 updated the California PATHWAYS model to reflect scenarios and input assumptions requested by the CARB. The model results were translated into inputs to a macroeconomic model (REMI) in analysis performed by the CARB to evaluate impacts to statewide economic growth and jobs. E3’s study results were presented in public stakeholder workshops and are reflected in the final Scoping Plan published in November 2017.
The California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California ISO, and governor’s office engaged E3 to evaluate the feasibility and cost of potential 2030 GHG targets. We focused on emission reduction strategies through 2030, with an eye toward meeting the state’s 2050 GHG reduction goal. Using our PATHWAYS model, we developed several scenarios that varied the mix of low-carbon technologies and the timing of deployment. PATHWAYS is a stock-and-flow model that encompasses the entire state economy with detailed representations of the building, industrial, transportation, and electricity sectors. E3 team members briefed Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the legislature on the results. Our work informed the governor’s Executive Order B-30-15, which calls for a 40 percent reduction in statewide GHG emissions by 2030 relative to 1990 levels. California agencies are using our results in ongoing implementation analysis of the state’s climate goals.