Senior Consultant
Zachary Subin

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Dr. Zachary Subin studies the economic feasibility of options for climate mitigation and the policy implications of large-scale change in the energy system. He is skilled at building computational models and communicating technical information to diverse audiences. Zack is currently using E3’s PATHWAYS model to analyze deep decarbonization trajectories for California.

When he joined E3 in 2016, Zack had more than eight years of research experience in climate change science and policy. In positions at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Princeton University, he collaborated with world-class scientists to improve global climate models and developed expertise in modeling the impacts of climate change on land ecosystems.

Zack first came to E3 as a student intern in 2007, developing carbon mitigation supply curves for the transportation sector. In recognition of his work, the California Air Resources Board invited him to present it as part of the Chair’s Lecture Series.

Education: PhD, MS, energy and resources, University of California, Berkeley; MPP, Goldman School of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley; BA, physics and math, Harvard University


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).


Pacific Northwest Pathways to 2050 | NW Natural, 2018

E3 analyzed regional 2050 decarbonization scenarios for the Pacific Northwest on behalf of NW Natural, a gas distribution business in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Unlike prior studies, E3’s focused on space heating technologies: both how they perform in cold temperatures and affect the costs of serving heating loads. E3 analyzed four scenarios — two maintaining direct use of gas in buildings, and two assuming large-scale building electrification — and found similar 2050 costs among the gas and cold-climate electric heat pump scenarios, and higher costs in the standard electric heat pump scenario. Gas scenarios require three things beyond the decarbonization strategies common to all scenarios: reducing the carbon intensity of natural gas by blending up to 30 percent carbon-neutral renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen; high building energy efficiency; and deeper GHG reductions in non-building sector emissions. Electrification scenarios require rapid consumer adoption of electric heating technologies, especially cold-climate heat pumps, and significant electricity sector investments to address winter peak demand from electric space heating.


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 […]


Economic analysis of market-based carbon reduction | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 2016–2017

E3 worked with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to evaluate the economic impacts of adopting a carbon market in Oregon, per the directive of the State Legislature (SB 5701). E3 performed a detailed literature review of cap and trade programs and impacts across North America and Europe. We also developed an economic analysis of Oregon’s climate policies, including an estimate of the potential macroeconomic impacts of cap and trade in Oregon. E3 evaluated two categories of climate policies: (1) ‘complementary policies,’ which are the policies that drive GHG emissions reductions outside of the carbon market (e.g. the renewable portfolio standard and energy efficiency programs), and (2) different configurations of a future carbon market. E3 modeled the complementary policies in the energy-accounting model LEAP (Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system), and the impacts of the carbon market using the IMPLAN macroeconomic model. The results of this study were presented to Oregon stakeholders in January 2017, and the Oregon DEQ presented the study results to the Oregon Legislature for consideration in February 2017.



California’s 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan | CARB, 2016–2017

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.




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