To learn more about SLOPE’s new, groundbreaking Scenario Planner Tool, register for the introductory webinar taking place on February 15, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Questions or comments about SLOPE? Please contact slope@nrel.gov

To all state and local governments looking to generate more clean energy and slash carbon emissions: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is here to help. DOE kicked off 2022 by launching a groundbreaking Scenario Planner tool within the State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform, a free, easy-to-use, online resource that supports data-driven state and local energy planning.  

The new Scenario Planner allows users to compare the projected impacts of different clean energy strategies on future energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and system costs for a given county or state. These clean energy strategies, such as grid decarbonization and electrification, can be viewed in isolation or in combination to help states and local governments weigh the impacts of pursuing multiple strategies.  The Scenario Planner can also identify the economic sectors (e.g., transportation, commercial, industrial, etc.) that present the greatest opportunity to reduce emissions, costs, and consumption. 

For example, if your county set a goal to achieve carbon-free energy generation by 2050, you can select a scenario in the Scenario Planner that shows your county’s projected CO2 emissions under a scenario where your electricity generation mix achieves 95% decarbonization by 2050. The Scenario Planner will also calculate your county’s remaining emissions after achieving that goal and illustrate additional strategies for further emissions reduction. If the Scenario Planner then shows that the transportation sector still produces a significant portion of your jurisdiction’s emissions, you can decide to explore opportunities to increase electric vehicle adoption in your county.   

The Scenario Planner may be the newest addition to the SLOPE Platform, but the Platform also hosts the Data Viewer tool, which generates interactive maps and charts of city, county, and state data on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation. The City and County of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are using SLOPE to better understand their energy use and clean-energy potential. With the help of SLOPE’s maps and charts, Milwaukee’s energy managers are helping elected officials and community stakeholders find the most cost-effective strategies for achieving Milwaukee’s renewable energy and emissions goals. Visit the SLOPE Stories webpage to read more about how SLOPE is helping Milwaukee and other jurisdictions visualize their energy future. 

In the coming months, new capabilities and even more data will be added to the SLOPE Platform. SLOPE’s Data Viewer will soon feature census-tract-level energy and environmental justice data that will help users tailor clean-energy programs and policies to underserved communities. The Data Viewer will also feature more detailed information on energy efficiency potential for commercial buildings and building energy efficiency scenarios will be added to the Scenario Planner.  

The SLOPE Platform is the result of an ongoing, collaborative effort between nine DOE offices and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. By helping state and local governments make informed decisions as they work to decarbonize their jurisdictions, the Platform supports DOE’s overarching goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.