Transmission constraints are the number one barrier to the development of new renewable electricity capacity. The Sustainable Energy Modeling Project, or SEMPro, reconceptualizes how we “get to yes” on siting new transmission resources. This project models how competing interests shape transmission policy and identifies actionable strategies to build greenfield electricity transmission infrastructure. SEMPro is an agent-based model of the transmission siting policy space. Agents are homeowners, California regulators, US resource agencies, utilities, power producers, environmental organizations, and others with an interest in transmission siting. Agents’ preferences are fed into the model which uses game theory, bargaining dynamics, and network theory to predict agents’ actions. The simulation results offer ideas about policy “levers”, issue linkage strategies, bargaining positions, and other tactical and strategic advice to users about how to reach consensus on the siting issue given its policy environment and dynamics. Cutting-edge social science tools like SEMPro can enable regions to meet their climate and energy targets from renewables.
Traditional regulatory processes pit entrenched stakeholders with diverse interests against each other repeatedly, often in adversarial settings. This encourages opposition to the “other” side’s proposals. This project is strategically different, opting for transparency in the process, asking the community to engage and respond, versus react and oppose. We believe this approach has the potential to be more successful and potentially more cost effective in the long run.
SPE partners with Edison International
on renewable energy transmission research
California has created ambitious renewable energy policies that aspire to have one third of the state’s electricity generated by renewable sources in the coming years.
Progress toward such a goal requires the construction of solar and wind power plants in remote areas, along with hundreds of miles of new transmission lines... read more
SEMPRO Project Timeline
The SEMPRo project was successfully completed in December of 2013. The principal investigators are currently extending the modeling approach and looking forward to applying it to other siting projects.