Tools -Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University


Carnegie Mellon Power Sector Carbon Index

Prof. Costa Samaras (CEE, EPP), Prof. Inês Azevedo (EPP), Greg Shivley (Lead Graduate Student Researcher), Adam Goldstein (Graduate Researcher), Prof. Haibo Zhai (EPP) and Prof. H. Scott Matthews (CEE, EPP)

Tool Description: The Power Sector Carbon Index provides an estimate of the carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity of the U.S. power sector using publicly available data sources. Carbon intensity is measured in pounds of CO2 per Megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity. All of the charts and data are directly downloadable from the tool's website. Read more about how the Power Sector Carbon Index is calculated. The Index was created by researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, with support from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.

Visit the Power Sector Carbon Index website.


A Techno-Economic Decision Support Tool for Guiding States’ Responses to the EPA Clean Power Plan

Prof.Paul Fischbeck (SDS, EPP), Prof. Haibo Zhai (EPP), and Jeff Anderson (EPP PhD Student)

Note: We are determining if our methodology is viable for the new Clean Power Plan Rule released on August 3, 2015. The rule is quite complicated so it will take months to get the model going again. We will be focused on showing proof of concept for NM, PA, and WV, and expect this to be completed in early 2016.

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Tool Description:
In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a Clean Power Plan under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act for the state-level regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from existing electric generating plants. The proposal, which will be finalized this mid-summer, sets state-specific goals for CO2 emissions, but provides each state with flexibility to choose how to meet its goal.

The proposed regulation offers four “building blocks” from which states can build their plan: make coal plants more efficient, use more natural gas generation, build more renewable generators like wind or solar, and improve energy efficiency.  These building blocks allow states to construct many possible plans, but understanding which specific combinations of power plants come together to an EPA-compliant solution is difficult.  Low-cost solutions can be hidden from view because of nuances in the regulation and details about power plants in a state.  To meet this need, a team of Carnegie Mellon University engineering researchers developed the Interactive State On-site Mitigation Analytical Policy tool (ISOMAP). 

Carnegie Mellon offers additional tools for climate and energy decision making. Visit the website for CMU's Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making to learn more.