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Synapse maintains EPA’s Avoided Emissions and Generation Tool (AVERT) model, a publicly-available tool designed to estimate the emissions displaced at electric power plants by incremental additions of energy efficiency and/or renewable energy. Recently, Synapse worked with EPA to implement several upgrades to the AVERT framework, including incorporation of particulate matter (PM2.5) into the tool and several algorithmic improvements. In addition, the release of the 2016 data year means that a full decade of AVERT data is now publicly available.

A key challenge that EPA, state agencies, and public interest groups involved in Clean Power Plan compliance planning are likely to face during the development of state plans, trading program initiation, and compliance demonstration, has to do with how emissions displacement interacts with state compliance options—and rate-based options in particular.

One of the key benefits associated with energy efficiency and renewable energy programs (clean energy) is that they reduce consumption of fossil fuel resources, and in doing so reduce fossil fuel-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. A report released by Synapse today provides evidence that clean energy resources have indeed displaced emissions—at a rate of up to 0.80 metric tons of CO2 per megawatt-hour, depending on the region and the type of alternative resource deployed—and are projected to continue to do so in the future.

Today the EPA released AVERT (Avoided Emissions and Generation Tool), an open-access tool built by Synapse to allow states and other stakeholders to estimate the hourly emissions benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs. AVERT allows non-expert users to measure emissions of CO2, SO2, and NOX mitigated by state or multi-state programs.