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2010-11 Seminars


Prism 2.0: Preliminary Insights from EPRIís Regional Model 

Francisco de la Chesnaye
Senior Economist, Global Climate Program
Electric Power Research Institute

Abstract
In 2007 the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released its first Prism and MERGE analyses. The purpose of these analyses was to provide a technical and economic feasible roadmap as the electricity sector seeks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades. The Prism analysis provided a comprehensive assessment of potential CO2 reductions in eight key technology areas of the electricity sector. The MERGE analysis identified a cost-effective technology portfolio in response to a given CO2 emissions constraint. Both analyses have been cited in numerous national and international publications and provided thought leadership for the electric power industry. One limitation of the MERGE model used in the 2007 analyses (and subsequent updates) is that it did not take into account regional differences in technologies, policies and economic costs. As a result, in 2009 EPRI initiated a multi-year effort to develop a new regional model to provide greater technical insights into how regional differences impact the electricity sector as it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Preliminary insights from this new regional model, Prism 2.0, confirm the importance of assessing energy resources at a regional level and that responses to possible future national climate/energy policies -- from economic and technical standpoints -- would vary greatly across major regions of the country with different mixes of generation and efficiency programs.

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