Modeling EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Insights for Cost-Effective Implementation

This brief examines the findings of six economic modeling studies of the anticipated impacts of the proposed Clean Power Plan. It compares their projected impacts on power costs and the structure of the power sector, and on other fossil fuel consumers in the energy and transportation sectors. In general, the studies highlight the key role that energy efficiency programs can play in minimizing cost impacts to consumers and to power companies. All studies show declining power consumption and declining coal generation; most project rising natural gas generation, depending on how much energy efficiency is increased. Most of the studies project costs to the average U.S. household of less than 25 cents a day. Finally, the models suggest the Clean Power Plan as proposed is unlikely to boost zero-carbon renewable and nuclear power generation beyond the growth already forecast under business-as-usual scenarios.