Carnegie Mellon University

Inviting Members to the OEO Consortium

We are seeking to partner with a diverse set of stakeholders to support the OEO research and outreach efforts. To sustain the Open Energy Outlook effort into the future, we are seeking to partner with a diverse set of stakeholders by forming an OEO Consortium. We plan to formally launch this consortium following the release of our first report in mid-2022.

The United States must pursue rapid and far-reaching efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Policy must drive fundamental changes in the ways we produce and consume energy. Policy makers face the monumental challenge of crafting effective climate policy in the face of highly uncertain expectations about the future, particularly because energy infrastructure is expensive and long-lived.

Energy system models provide a way to examine future energy systems evolution, test the effects of proposed policy, and explore the role of future uncertainty. Model-based analyses can yield insights that inform the policy making process. Unfortunately, many of these computer models are opaque to outsiders and are used to run limited scenarios that produce limited insight. Given the stakes associated with climate change mitigation, we must do better.

The Open Energy Outlook initiative is a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and North Carolina State University, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, that examines U.S. energy futures by applying the gold standards of policy-focused academic modeling, maximizing transparency, and building a networked community that includes 35+ researchers serving as advisors. See what sets the OEO apart in our first blog post here. The Open Energy Outlook Consortium will support long-term sustainability of the initiative through strategic partnerships.

Objectives

Refine and expand the modeling capabilities of Tools for Energy Model Optimization and Analysis (Temoa), an open-source, Python-based energy system optimization model. Temoa minimizes the total system-wide cost of energy supply by optimizing the installation and utilization of energy technologies across the entire energy network to meet a set of end-use demands under system- and user-defined constraints.

Build and maintain an open-source database of the U.S. energy system. The database includes detailed information about the availability and costs of primary energy resources, the cost and performance characteristics of energy technologies across the energy system, and a set of end-use demands within the buildings, transportation, and industrial sectors, at a high spatio-temporal resolution. To maximize transparency, detailed documentation of the input database is being developed and is publicly available online.

Produce a series of analyses that can help inform US policy efforts. Our main deliverable will be an Open Energy Outlook for the United States, produced annually. This publicly available report will include a description of the input data, assumptions, and modeling approaches, as well as the model results and policy-relevant insights. Scenario and uncertainty analyses for the report will be informed by engagement with energy stakeholders and experts. Additional model-based analysis, summarized in briefing memos, will be performed to help inform ongoing federal policy discussions.

Membership

Consortium members will help ensure the long-term viability of this critical modeling effort. While we have a large project team of over 35 experts, the membership funds provide targeted support for the core OEO team which consists of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and project scientists. We offer 3 membership levels:

Membership Level

Annual membership cost

Engagement

Bronze

$15,000

Acknowledged as a sponsor/contributor. Pre-publication briefing on key results.

Silver

$30,000

In addition to Bronze level, receive technical support on model application

Gold

$50,000

In addition to Silver level, request specific policy analysis using the existing model and database

For more information about the OEO or the Consortium, please contact openenergyoutlook@gmail.com.

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