Consumer Costs of Low-Emissions Futures

Energy Foundation
Project completed December 2015

Synapse prepared a series of briefs on the electric sector costs to consumers of low-emissions futures. The briefs are informed by modeling studies that investigate the costs of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, as well as a scenario in which we achieve low-cost emissions reductions even greater than those called for by the EPA.

Synapse used NREL's Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model to compare the costs of the U.S. electric sector transitioning to a Clean Energy Future with business‐as‐usual costs. In the Clean Energy Future, renewables grow rapidly to reach 70 percent of all generation by 2040, including nearly 200 GW of rooftop solar panels. Electricity sales are 25 percent lower than business-as-usual in 2040 as a result of savings from energy efficiency measures and standards, as well as demand response programs that pay participating consumers to curtail their energy use at times of peak demand. All coal-fired units built before 2005 are retired by 2040. This results in carbon dioxide emissions 84 percent lower than business-as-usual levels in 2040. Synapse found that consumers can save $41 billion in the year 2040 as compared to business as usual if states pursue these clean energy options.

The briefs and the associated background reports can be found below, along with recordings of webinars presenting the results.

Please note: Earlier versions of the publications found below reported 80-year lifetimes for nuclear units in both the reference and Clean Energy Future scenarios. In this analysis, nuclear power plants are actually assumed to retire after 60 years, after receiving one license extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

July 28 Webinar

September 3 Webinar