Engineering, Economic, and Environmental Electricity Simulation Tool (E4ST)
E4ST is power sector modeling software built to project the effects of policies, regulations, power infrastructure additions, demand changes, and more.
About the Model
E4ST is power sector modeling software built to project the effects of policies, regulations, power infrastructure additions, demand changes, and more. E4ST simulates in detail how the power sector will respond to such changes. It models successive multi-year periods, predicting hourly system operation, generator construction, generator retirement, and various other outcomes in each multi-year period.
The E4ST models of the US and Canada contain the 19,000 existing generators with their detailed individual characteristics, tens of thousands of buildable generators including location- and hour-specific wind and solar data, and all of the high-voltage (>200 kV) transmission lines as well as chronically congested lower-voltage transmission lines. E4ST’s advantages over other models include its high spatial detail, its realistic representation of power flows and system operation, its integration of an air pollution and health effects model, its uniquely comprehensive benefit-cost analysis capabilities, the high quality of its various kinds of inputs, its representation of emerging technologies, its inclusion of Canada, its adaptability, and the care the developers take to apply it in a rigorous and unbiased manner. E4ST has been used to analyze various national and state-level policies and investments.
It has been used for numerous studies for the policymaking community and for multiple peer-reviewed papers in leading journals, one example being Shawhan and Picciano (2018). E4ST has been developed by researchers at Resources for the Future and Cornell and Arizona State Universities, with funding, input, and review by the US Department of Energy, the Sloan Foundation, Breakthrough Energy, the National Science Foundation, the New York Independent System Operator, the Power Systems Engineering Research Center, and others. More information is available at e4st.org.
Daniel Shawhan is a fellow at RFF. His research focuses on predicting and estimating the effects of electricity policies, including environmental ones.
Steven Witkin is a research analyst at RFF. His research focuses on analyzing the effects of policy alternatives on the future of the electricity sector.
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