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A Clean Energy Standard Analysis with the US-REGEN Model

Abstract:
A clean energy standard (CES) is a potential policy alternative to reduce carbon emissions in the electric sector. We analyze this policy under a range of technological assumptions, expanding on the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) 24 study scenarios, using a new modeling tool, US-REGEN. We describe three innovative features of the model: treatment of spatial and temporal variability of renewable resources, cost-of-service electric sector pricing, and explicit representation of energy end-use specific capital. We find that varying technology assumptions results in vastly different futures, with large contrasts in the distribution and scale of inter-regional financial flows, and in the generation mix. We explore regional differences in how the costs of CES credits are passed through with cost-of-service vs. competitive pricing. Finally, we compare the CES to an economy-wide emissions cap. We find that although the two policies result in a similar generation mix, price and electricity end-use results differ. Keywords: Clean energy standard, Market-based environmental policy, Greenhouse gas mitigation, Energy modelling, Electricity modeling

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Keywords: Clean energy standard, Market-based environmental policy, Greenhouse gas mitigation, Energy modelling, Electricity modeling

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.SI1.8

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Published in Volume 35, Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.