Projecting the Effect of Energy Policies: A Study from the U.S. Energy Information Administration


Estimating the effect of policies is a challenging but critical part of energy planning and governance. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Annual Energy Outlook typically focuses on current policies; however, the 2016 Annual Energy Outlook covers two scenarios: one with the implementation of the U.S. Clean Power Plan, and the other without. The results find that the additional policies to grow clean energy through the Clean Power Plan would increase U.S. clean energy by 30%.

To quote EIA’s release: In EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016) Reference case projection, which generally assumes current laws and policies, electricity generation from solar and wind sources across all sectors increases from 227 billion kilowatt-hours in 2015 to 950 billion kilowatt-hours in 2040. In the Extended Policies case, which perpetuates policies beyond their legislated expiration, solar and wind generation grow to 1,236 billion kilowatt-hours in 2040, or 30% above the Reference case level.


An annotated summary of the two cases is currently available – the full release is slated for early July. For more from the EIA on these scenarios, click here.

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