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Maryland Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

Project Description
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Based on requirements from MDE, this project will analyze multiple aspects of the RGGI program and how it both positively and potentially negatively might affect the State of Maryland as well as neighboring regions. In particular, our impact study will evaluate whether the State's participation in the RGGI has or may have an adverse impact on the:

-- Preservation and enhancement of the economic welfare of the residents of the State;
-- Maintenance of a safe and reliable electric power supply in the State,
-- Adequacy of the energy supply in the State, including the potential for power plant shutdowns,
-- Ability of persons who own, lease, operate, or control an affected facility to compete in neighboring states, or,
-- Electric rates for residents of the State.

The study shall take into consideration a number of factors, including:

-- The number of states that are included as full participants in the RGGI,
-- The mix of energy resources in the states that are included as full participants in the RGGI; and,
-- Availability of credits among participating states.

The analysis of the aforementioned items is a complex task which necessarily involves experts in energy, the environment, economics, and modeling. To this end, the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) has assembled a talented team of researchers and industry experts. CIER will have overall responsibility for the project making sure that the issues mentioned above are carefully analyzed and reported in a clear and comprehensive way.

Project Modeling Researchers from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Resources for the Future (RFF) will be partnering with the University of Maryland as subcontractors, and will be applying their expertise in the modeling of the electric power grid as well as the resulting environmental impacts. In particular, both JHU and RFF will be using existing models -- Oligopolistic Power Market Model (JHU) and Haiku Model (RFF) -- that can directly answer questions such as adequacy of the energy supply, generator competitiveness, electricity rates, and reliability issues in addition to providing some summary economic measures such as producer and consumer surplus. These models have already been applied in different contexts to address energy sector issues in Maryland. In addition, the University of Maryland itself will draw upon its expertise in electric power and environmental issues. In terms of the economic effects, Towson University’s (TU) RESI will be brought in to use their input-output model to measure the economic welfare impact of RGGI participation on the State of Maryland.

View details on each modeling approach by clicking here.

The resulting analysis and report will consequently provide the State with a comprehensive review of all of the major impacts of Maryland’s participation in RGGI so that it can make appropriate decisions for the benefit of Maryland and its residents. The assessments presented to the State will be based on the best available science, modeling and economic analysis conducted by the most qualified individuals and institutions. A study report detailing the result of the various model runs will be provided to MDE in January 2007.