We're examining technology and policy pathways to achieve deep decarbonization in the United States using open source tools and data.

The United States must find policy solutions that enable deep decarbonization of the energy system in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. “Deep decarbonization” implies rapid and far-reaching efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. Appropriate action will require fundamental changes in the way we produce and consume energy and must be driven by policy. Policy makers face the monumental challenge of crafting effective climate policy in the face of highly uncertain expectations about the future. The stakes are high because energy infrastructure is expensive and long-lived. Computer models of the energy system – referred to as energy system models – provide a way to examine future energy system evolution, test the effects of proposed policy, and explore the role of future uncertainty. Model-based analysis can yield insights that inform the policy making process. Unfortunately, many of these computer models are opaque to outsiders and are used to run a few scenarios that produce limited insight. Given the stakes associated with climate change mitigation, we must do better. Our project aims to bring energy modeling into the twenty-first century by applying the gold standards of policy-focused academic modeling, maximizing transparency, building a networked community, and working towards a common goal: examining U.S. energy futures to inform future energy and climate policy efforts.

We would like to thank the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for supporting this effort.