An Energy Transition Planning Toolbox

An Energy Transition Planning Toolbox

"Solar installation, electrician's toolbox" by CoCreatr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Electricity has come a long way since the first distribution systems were built in the 1870s. From lighting and heating our homes and businesses to powering the appliances, devices, and vehicles and that keep us connected and productive, electrical energy is nothing short of a fundamental pillar of society, and its prominence in our daily lives figures to grow right alongside the widespread electrification of transportation, buildings, manufacturing and more.

At the same time, the realities of climate change are bringing new, highly motivated voices to the table to bargain for a transition to renewable energy. These people are working to secure community-level commitments to such a transition, with the stated goal of doing their part to stave off the worst effects of climate change; together, their efforts are meaningfully increasing the number of participants in this traditionally consensus-oriented industry.

ProtoGen has watched these trends with great interest. As the “Ready for 100” movement has grown, we’ve felt the need to facilitate interaction between the traditional “energy people” and these new voices. As we’ve engaged the new folks, it’s become apparent that the biggest and most immediate hurdle is general energy industry literacy: things like terms, definitions, abbreviations and units are commonly confused or completely unknown. We can’t have productive conversations about a renewable energy transition without first building the capacity to do so.

Tools and resources need to be organized and promoted for motivated people to increase their knowledge and ability to engage constructively with industry stakeholders. We’ve been developing a toolbox of free resources for exactly this purpose.

Energy Transition Planning Toolbox

  1. RE-Mixer: An Excel-based electricity generation transition scenario modeling calculator. It allows for development of a rough-cut energy mix and cost for transitioning to renewables over a given timeline.
    • Whitepaper: We walk through the RE-Mixer inputs and use the tool to model a transition to 100% Renewable Energy for the five-county Greater Philadelphia area by 2050.
    • Research Library: A robust, curated library of current research on energy transition possibilities, equipment cost and trends, meant to add context and enable a rich experience while using RE-Mixer.
  2. HybridFAST: Excel-based financial analysis spreadsheet tool for solar PV, battery, or solar-plus-storage projects. Allows users to develop a cashflow, payback, ROI, IRR, and other financial metrics these systems, and to better understand their sensitivities market conditions and other externalities.  
  3. Energy Transition Planning Terms: 104 hand-selected terms related to energy transition planning, organized into economic, regulatory and technical topics by color. Each term has a definition, pros and cons, and a “Real Talk” section that places the topic within the context of energy transition planning.

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