Climate Special Projects

Clean Air Act

Through detailed legal analysis and high-level stakeholder engagement, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions identifies cost effective options for using the Clean Air Act to protect public health and encourage deployment of innovative technologies. Following the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, Nicholas Institute researchers have focused on identifying efficient, environmentally-effective options for regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Act, paying particular attention to the challenge of limiting emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.   

Climate Policy

Since its founding in 2005, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions has focused on developing creative policy options to limit greenhouse gas emissions at the federal and state levels. Through a combination of economic analysis, legal research, energy modeling, and stakeholder engagement, Nicholas Institute researchers have developed an extensive body of work focusing on controlling costs to consumers and affected industries, offset creditseffective market oversight and technology innovation

State Utility Regulation

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions ensures that state utility commissioners and environmental regulators are better equipped to address consumer protection, environmental protection and maintain a reliable electricity grid. In conjunction with Duke University faculty, the Nicholas Institute conducts original analysis regarding the role of on long-term cost impacts. The Nicholas Institute has developed a unique decision-making modeling tool to help state utility regulators analyze infrastructure investment options and work directly with policymakers to identify options for aligning the state energy regulatory process.

Economic and Environmental Consequences of Bioenergy

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is a respected voice—advising industry, government and NGOs on the likely implications of expanded by energy markets—in the often-contentious area of biomass energy production (particularly in the Southeast). Work by the Nicholas Institute has greatly increased appreciation of the greenhouse gas implications of bioenergy use and has been cited by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and members of the Scientific Advisory Board on Biogenic Accounting as a key example of the type of research necessary to develop workable approaches to track bioenergy carbon emissions.

Southeast Climate and Energy

Located on Duke University's campus in the heart of the Southeast, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions focuses on the climate and energy challenges facing the region.  The Nicholas Institute's regional work explores the potential for expanding the use of renewable energy (including biomass) and energy efficiency measures in the Southeast.

Energy Sector Modeling

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions strives to evaluate policy options, illuminate associated trends and determine how certain choices affect costs, emissions and other outcomes. Researchers recent modeling has explored the potential for efficiency and renewables in the South, Southern clean energy myths, and, using RTI’s ADAGE economic-energy model, looked at policies for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.