Modeling strategic objectives and behavior in the transition of the energy Sector to inform policymaking

Elsevier, Electricity Journal, Volume 34, October 2021
Authors: 
Felder F.A., Unel B., Dvorkin Y.

Transitioning the energy sector to zero or net-zero emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG) and substantially reducing other pollutants is a massive, costly, and long-term effort. The typical starting point and centerpiece of energy decarbonization is the electric power sector. The sector is a large direct GHG emitter. It already has many technological, non-carbon emitting alternatives that are rapidly declining in capital and operating costs and improving in performance, making electricity the least expensive and accessible energy carrier to decarbonize. This paper explores what the modeling community should do to inform this transition. The underpinning premise of this paper is that policymakers genuinely want to be informed from the modeling community about their range of options, their ability to achieve various objectives, and possible unintended outcomes. Since the goal of the modeling community is to help inform policymaking, it is important that they hear the needs of policymakers, be it economic, technological, or social goals.