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About the Energy Policy Simulators

The Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) is a free and open-source computer model developed by Energy Innovation LLC as part of its Energy Policy Solutions project, an effort which aims to inform policymakers and regulators about which climate and energy policies will reduce greenhouse gas emissions most effectively and with the most beneficial financial and public health outcomes.

You can use the model on this website through your web browser or, to use advanced features or modify its input data, you may download it and run it locally on your Mac or Windows PC.

The EPS allows the user to control numerous, different policies that affect energy use and emissions in various sectors of the economy (such as a carbon tax, fuel economy standards for vehicles, reducing methane leakage from industry, accelerated R&D advancement of various technologies, and many more). The model includes every major sector of the economy: transportation, electricity supply, buildings, industry, agriculture, and land use. It also includes various smaller components, such as hydrogen supply, district heat, waste management, geoengineering, etc. The model reports outputs at annual intervals and provides numerous outputs, including:

  • Emissions of 12 different pollutants (CO2, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and eight others), as well as carbon dioxide Eequivalent (CO2e; a measure of the global warming potential of various pollutants)
  • Direct cash flow (cost or savings) impacts on government, non-energy industries, labor and consumers, and five energy-supplying industries
  • Impacts on jobs, GDP, and employee compensation, as a whole or disaggregated into 36 economic categories
  • Premature mortality (deaths) and 10 other health-related outcomes avoided thanks to reduced primary and secondary particulate pollution
  • The composition and output of the electricity sector (e.g. capacity and generation from coal, natural gas, wind, solar, etc.)
  • Vehicle technology market shares and fleet composition (electric vehicles, etc.)
  • Energy use by fuel type from various energy-using technologies (specific types of vehicles, building components, etc.)
  • Breakdowns of how each policy within a policy package contributes to total abatement and the cost-effectiveness of each policy (e.g. wedge diagrams and cost curves)
  • Fuel imports and exports, and associated expenditures or revenues

The EPS is a System Dynamics computer model created in a program called Vensim. Vensim is a tool produced by Ventana Systems for the creation and simulation of System Dynamics models. The Energy Policy Simulator has been designed to be used with the free Vensim Model Reader. Directions on how to obtain Vensim Model Reader and the Energy Policy Simulator can be found on the Download and Installation page.

The model is distributed with a complete set of input data representing the United States, but it has a modular structure that allows it to be adapted to different countries and regions by swapping the input data. Links to existing country and regional versions of the EPS are available on the global EPS home page. The EPS reads in all of its input data from external text files, which are generated by accompanying Excel files. All of these files are included in the model distribution. The source of each piece of input data is carefully cited in these files.

Project Overview Video

This page was last updated in version 3.0.0.