Northwest Clean Energy Atlas

Washington State aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the scale and pace that the climate crisis requires

The Clean Energy Transition Institute and our partners were privileged to have been chosen to provide technical assistance to the Washington State Department of Commerce in developing and designing the state’s 2021 State Energy Strategy.
Washington State Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets
below 1990 levels by 2030
below 1990 levels by 2040
below 1990 levels, with net zero emissions by 2050

Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy and Supporting Materials

This project enabled us to develop a wealth of information about specific policies and actions required to decarbonize the building, transportation, electricity, and industrial sectors in the next decade and beyond, not only in Washington, but across the Northwest.

Technical Advisory Process

From March-December 2020 the CETI Team provided technical analysis to the Washington State Department of Commerce in support of a suite of policies and actions designed to meet Washington’s greenhouse gas targets and achieve decarbonization in the state.
The technical consulting included:
Conducting a meta-analysis of existing energy studies and strategies and an inventory of existing Washington policies, programs, regulations, investments, and tools
Facilitating a technical advisory process to inform the Advisory Committee’s advice and recommendations
Performing decarbonization and modeling and analysis, building on existing efforts and guided by the technical advisory process and Advisory Committee deliberations
Working with Commerce to create communication materials, including the design and preparation of a final report and supporting documents to launch the final 2021 State Energy Strategy
Technical Analysis and Strategy Design Consultants

The Clean Energy Transition Institute facilitated the technical advisory process, design, and production of the Washington State 2021 Energy Strategy from March to December with the following consultants:

Clean Energy Transition Institute

Aditi Bansal, Policy and Research Analyst
Marc Daudon, Senior Fellow
Nicole Larson, Research Assistant
David Paolella, Policy and Research Analyst
Eileen V. Quigley, Executive Director

Evolved Energy Research

Jeremy Hargreaves, Principal

Hammerschlag, LLC

Roel Hammerschlag, Principal

Inclusive Economics

Betony Jones, Founder

One Visual Mind

Karen Beck, Partner
Carol Maglitta
, Partner

Stockholm Environment Institute

Derik Broekhoff, Senior Scientist
Michael Lazarus
, U.S. Center Director

2050 Institute

Poppy Storm, Founder and Director of Innovation

The Institute’s Northwest Clean Energy Atlas project aims to use Tableau’s data visualization software to create an interactive atlas exploring energy data relevant to deep decarbonization in the Northwest. The challenges facing a rapid energy transition are complex and constantly evolving. Having access to detailed, up-to-date, and transparent energy system data is critical for policymakers, businesses, advocates, and the public to make informed decisions and track the progress of the clean energy transition.

An Interactive Dashboard for Data and Analysis

The Northwest Clean Energy Atlas would be built on Tableau’s platform of data analysis, mapping, and dashboarding tools. Users of the Atlas would be able to click through visualizations covering various energy data, compare metrics across time and geography, and interact with the visualizations to focus in on areas of interest for further analysis.

For example, the Oregon Solar Dashboard, developed and published by the Oregon Department of Energy, allows users to explore information about solar energy generation in Oregon, including system size, location, cost, and ownership. Using Tableau’s Story function, the atlas could also include specific deep dive analyses that present a sequence of visualizations that work together to convey key trends in a narrative form.

Northwest Region Energy Data Repository

Modeling demonstrates that the lowest-cost pathway for deep decarbonization in the Northwest involves coordination and cooperation among all states in the region. At present, tracking and comparing how states produce, purchase, and use energy requires assembling data from a variety of resources that have differing levels of detail, accessibility, and transparency.

For example, in its 2020 Biennial Energy Report, the Oregon Department of Energy has produced a series of interactive dashboards that track and visualize data it has compiled from state regulatory programs, federal government data repositories, and other resources. In Washington, multiple state agencies collect data relevant to the clean energy transition, but there is no central location where energy data visualized, analyzed, and available for download. The Clean Energy Atlas for the Northwest could serve as a source of aggregated data and insights and drive more regionally focused energy system planning and analysis.

Project Phases

The first phase of the project will include conducting a full survey of existing publicly available data relevant to the clean energy transition in Washington. We will also consult with decisionmakers, business leaders, researchers, and other key stakeholders in the region on the types of energy data that would be most helpful to track and visualize in the atlas. This feedback could be gathered through a series of interviews or by assembling a more formal technical review committee.   

The second phase of the project will focus on growing the coverage of the Atlas beyond Washington to include the broader Northwest region. Developing more comprehensive energy data visualization and analysis for Washington and comparing that with existing resources from the Oregon Department of Energy will demonstrate the potential value of a region-wide energy data visualization repository. In Phase 2, we will explore opportunities to create and gather new energy data sets covering Idaho and Montana and pursuing data consistency across the region.

Desired Project Outcomes

The Northwest Clean Energy Atlas project displays an interactive atlas of key energy data for the four states of the Northwest, which becomes a useful resource for stakeholders working to decarbonize the region.

Washington State Industrial Emissions Analysis Documents:

Oregon Clean Energy Pathways Analysis Documents:

2021 WA State Energy Strategy Presentations

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