September Seminar: Policymaking and Energy Modeling
On September 9, NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) and DOE/EERE's Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis (PBA) will present a seminar (in Golden, Colorado) highlighting an energy model for policymaking. The Great Plains Institute (GPI) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, based in Minneapolis, which works with policymakers, stakeholders, and experts to establish consensus on Midwestern energy policy. As part of the Midwest Governors' Association Greenhouse Gas Accord process, GPI developed the Energy Choice Simulator (ECS), a system dynamics model that demonstrates the effects of the interaction of several energy policies. ECS is a consensus-driven model, which was developed with the input of more than 150 stakeholders representing electric utilities, environmental nongovernment organizations, biofuel producers, and state government officials. This presentation by Dane McFarlane, of the Great Plains Institute, will include a demonstration of the Energy Choice Simulator interface, as well as a discussion of the consensus-orientated development of ECS, results and implications of analyses conducted with the model, and future uses or potential projects at GPI.
September "Bonus" Seminar: The Multilevel Governance of Global Climate Change
On September 22, NREL and PBA will also present a seminar (in Golden, Colorado) discussing government and climate change. There are myriad ways that global climate change is governed from the global to the local level in both the public and private spheres. Michele Betsill, of Colorado State University, will illustrate this multilevel governance landscape through discussions of her own research on local government action and the development of carbon markets. Her research reveals the changing nature of power and authority in this area, as well as the ways in which different governance arrangements intersect and shape society's ability to confront climate change.
Upcoming Energy Analysis Seminars
- November 11, 2010 (Golden, Colo.)
"Analysis and Evaluation of DSM Programs" — Josh Schellenberg, Freeman, Sullivan & Co./EnergyDSM
- January 13, 2011 (Golden, Colo.)
"Integrating Renewable Energy in an Urban Environment" — Wyllys Mann, Delta Institute
For more information on the seminar series — including log-in and call-in information for remote access — visit the Web site.
Publications and Web Sites
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Cost of Energy Calculator
NREL has developed a page on its Energy Analysis Web site that provides information on cost and performance data for energy technologies. Laboratory analysts recently added a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) calculator, which provides a metric that compares the combination of capital costs, O&M, performance and fuel costs. It doesn't include financing issues, discount issues, future replacement or degradation costs, or similar attributes, which would need to be included for a more complex analysis. To estimate a simple cost of energy, sliders are used to adjust the values. The calculator returns the LCOE in cents per kilowatt-hour.
Increasing Clean Energy Technologies Globally
SEAC analyst David Kline recently published the report "Benefits to the United States of Increasing Global Uptake of Clean Energy Technologies" (PDF 1.6 MB).
A previous report describes an opportunity for the United States to take leadership in efforts to transform the global energy system toward clean energy technologies (CET). That report includes estimates of the economic benefits to the United States of such a global transformation on the order of several hundred billion dollars per year by 2050. This new report describes the methods and assumptions used in developing those benefit estimates. It begins with a summary of the results of the analysis based on an updated and refined model completed since the publication of the previous report. The framework described can be used to estimate the economic benefits to the U.S. of coordinated global action to increase the uptake of CETs worldwide. Together with a Monte Carlo simulation engine, the framework can be used to develop plausible ranges for benefits, taking into account the large uncertainty in the driving variables and economic parameters. The resulting estimates illustrate that larger global clean energy markets offer significant opportunities to the United States economy
RE-Powering America's Land
NREL recently released the first in a series of reports, which highlights studies conducted with the Environmental Protection Agency for the RE-Powering America's Land Initiative. This project looks at opportunities for siting renewable energy on potentially contaminated land and mine sites — this report examines the possibilities for Nitro, West Virginia. The analysis project is being led by SEAC analyst Gail Mosey.
PV in Nitro, West Virginia
NREL's Lars Lisell and Gail Mosey recently published the report "Solar Photovoltaic Feasibility Study: City of Nitro, West Virginia." (PDF 541 KB)
The study described in this report assessed brownfield sites designated by the City of Nitro, West Virginia, for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. The study analyzed three different types of PV systems for eight sites. The report estimates the cost, performance, and site impacts of thin film technology and crystalline silicon panels (both fixed-axis tracking and single-axis tracking systems). Potential job creation and electrical rate increases were also considered, and the report recommends financing options that could assist in the implementation of a system.
For the latest updates on information regarding energy analysis, visit the Energy Analysis Web site.