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Energy and environmental policy

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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

GHG scenario analysis | NYSERDA, 2016–present

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 goals. We will evaluate 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 is partnering with Evolved Energy Research to downscale E3’s PATHWAYS model for New York State and calibrate it to New York–specific assumptions. E3 will translate the model results into our user-friendly LEAP model for NYSERDA’s continued use.

Strategic program development and consulting | DOE Technical Assistance to States, 2008–present

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.

Decarbonizing pipeline gas to help meet GHG reduction goals | SoCalGas, 2014–15

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.

California 2030 Target Scoping Plan update | CARB, 2016–present

E3 is helping the California Air Resources Board (CARB) update its scoping plan to meet its requirements under Assembly Bill 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act, 2006). E3’s statewide GHG mitigation analysis evaluates the GHG impacts and cost implications of different 2030 scenarios that are consistent with the California’s goal of reducing statewide GHG emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. For this project, we are adapting prior work using our Pathways model, updated with scenarios and assumptions requested by CARB. The model results are translated into inputs for CARB’s macroeconomic analysis of economic and job impacts. The study results are part of a high-profile stakeholder process, which includes extensive public review and comment.

Feasibility and cost of potential 2030 GHG reduction goals | CARB, CEC, CPUC, CAISO, 2014

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.



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