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The Environment and Energy Policy concentration at Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy positions graduates for leadership careers that address sustainable energy challenges in various areas of professional life, including government agencies, universities, not-for-profits, and industry. The Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory (CEPL) supports this effort by conducting research on clean energy financing, information and regulatory policies; energy policy and technology trends in the U.S. South; transformation to a smart grid; and the evolution of distributed resources including energy efficiency, demand response, and solar photovoltaics. We are involved in studies of climate mitigation under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, our policy interests span the triad of mitigation, adaptation, and geo-engineering, and we look at equity, employment, other impacts of policy interventions.

Multidisciplinarity, quantitative rigor, and strong conceptual frameworks underpin CEPL’s approach to policy analysis. Econometric models are employed to evaluate the impacts of existing programs. Climate change and energy policies are evaluated using a unique ensemble of modeling tools including the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS), hybrid NEMS-Input/Output approaches, Monte Carlo methods to characterize uncertainties, and GT-DSM and GT-Solar cost-benefit calculators for evaluating utility energy efficiency and solar programs. Together, these models are used to forecast the speed and market penetration of new and improved energy technologies and the ability of possible future policies to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies and practices. An interest in institutional and consumer behavior underpins the CEPL research agenda.