Projects & Case Studies

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CASE STUDY

Investigating the Economic Value of Flexible Solar Plants

CASE STUDY

Deep Decarbonization in a High Renewables Future: Updated Results from the California PATHWAYS model | CEC, 2015–2018

CASE STUDY

Study of Policies to Decarbonize Electric Sector in the Northwest I Public Generating Pool, 2017 – present

Maryland Decarbonization Pathways | Maryland Department of Energy, 2017–present

E3 is supporting the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University in developing a macroeconomic assessment of Maryland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction policies for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The project is divided into two phases. In the first phase, E3 developed a reference case of GHG emissions for Maryland consistent with existing energy policies. This work was presented to the Mitigation Working Group of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change in February 2018. The second phase, planned for 2018, will evaluate deeper GHG reduction scenarios with additional and more aggressive measures. E3 will support RESI in Phase II by providing cost and investment results by sector using E3’s PATHWAYS model in LEAP to inform the macroeconomic analysis.

People:

Tory Clark, Doug Allen, Snuller Price

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.

 

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New York 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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