Vermont Total Energy Study

FACETS was used to assess policy and technology options to meet Vermont's ambitious climate and renewable energy goals. The full sector version of FACETS was used to model three policies: a carbon tax, a Tradable Renewable Energy and Efficiency Standard (TREES), and a version of TREES with an additional minimum share of in-state energy (TREES-Local). 

Emissions reduction cost curve generated in FACETS

FACETS data was customized for Vermont in key areas through iteration with the Vermont Public Service Department, including:

  • Existing state renewable installations
  • Solar costs and financing based on current contracts
  • New transmission project options
  • Biomass supply and cost
  • Building shell efficiency cost and potential

The most cost-effective space heating technology pathways depend on policy and biofuels cost

FACETS runs revealed that, because Vermont's emissions come overwhelmingly from petroleum use, the key risk facing Vermont is the future price of liquid biofuels to substitute for home heating and heavy vehicle use. All policies were then assessed under both low and high biofuels prices, to see how each policy faired under this risk.

Custom portals allow users to explore the model results for themselves, facilitating collaboration, review, communication, and consensus-building

Custom results portals were created to allow state analysts to review and discuss the results. Overall, we found that Vermont can achieve its 2050 GHG and RE goals using either a carbon tax or TREES policy at reasonable cost with currently available technologies.  The full report describing the scenarios modeled, the results, and the conclusions for Vermont's policy objectives can be download here.