Energy Policy Solutions

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Energy Policy Solutions

The Energy Policy Solutions Program delivers quantitative policy insights and detailed policy design guidance directly to policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders. This includes developing our in-house model, the Energy Policy Simulator, and propagating policy design insights from our book Designing Climate Solutions. These tools assess potential emissions mitigation, economic impacts, job creation, and health benefits of different policies to offer advice to policymakers.

Trillions are spent every year dollars generating and consuming energy across the globe, with much of it landing on investments that fuel the climate crisis. Most energy infrastructure is built to last for decades, which makes it crucial to get energy policy rightWell-designed and well-implemented energy policy can improve energy security and rapidly reduce emissions while growing the economy and creating jobs. Done wrong, energy policy can waste billions and lock in dirty, inefficient systems for decades to come.

Our Work

Energy Innovation’s EPS program answers two key questions:

  1. Which policies will most meaningfully reduce emissions, and how stringently must they be set to achieve necessary climate goals?
  2. How should these policies be designed and implemented to maximize their beneficial interactions, ensure compliance, and avoid unintended consequences?

We address the first question through our open-source, peer-reviewed Energy Policy Simulator which uses government data to estimate the environmental, economic, and human health impacts of hundreds of climate and energy policies.

Energy Innovation has partnered with international organizations and government agencies to develop EPS models for many of the world’s largest emitters including China, the United States, IndiaIndonesia, Canada, and Mexico; EPS models have also been developed for multiple subnational regions across China, the U.S., and Canada. Combined, these models cover more than half of total global emissions.

The EPS identifies policies capable of securing deep decarbonization and recommends the most effective policies for each country or subnational region while evaluating the economic, emissions, and public health impacts of those policies.

Domestic examples include exploring how emissions would decline if the U.S. adopted the top climate and energy policies currently enacted in other countries, modeling the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ Action Plan, and identifying the policy pathway capable of reaching a 1.5 degree Celsius Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement.

Global examples include identifying policy gaps for achieving China’s climate targets in the Paris Agreement and policies to help it save billions while peaking emissions by 2030, policies that would enable Mexico to achieve its emissions targets, and policies that would empower Canada to reach its commitment to the Paris Agreement.

We address the second question in our policy design book: Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon EnergyDesigning Climate Solutions is the first comprehensive guide outlining which well-designed and implemented energy policies can put us on the path to a low-carbon future. The book explains best practices and principles for each of these top policies and includes case studies from around the world. Most of the book’s content is free to read online via its complementary website.


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The Energy Policy Solutions Team

Energy Policy Solutions Topics

Electrification

Replacing technologies and systems that run on fossil fuels with alternatives like electric vehicles, heat pumps, and induction stoves that run on clean electricity is a proven way to reduce pollution and decarbonize the economy. Scaling up electrification across sectors requires a multi-faceted approach at the federal, state, and local levels.

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Power Sector Transformation

Supportive policies, favorable economics, and technological innovations are accelerating the United States’ transition to a clean, affordable, and reliable electricity grid.

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Transportation

The U.S. transportation sector is the largest national source of emissions, and burning fuel in vehicles contributes to well-documented public health hazards. Because a typical car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle may run for a decade or more, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 requires all new car and truck sales be electric starting this decade.

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Industry

Manufacturing and industry make up approximately one-third of U.S. emissions. Industry’s reliance on fossil fuels to generate heat creates significant potential to decarbonize industry by mid-century through cost-effective electrification, while also growing the economy and creating jobs.

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