Energy Choice Simulator

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The Energy Choice Simulator is system dynamics calculator that models energy choices.



The Energy Choice Simulator is system dynamics calculator that models energy choices. The tool was co-developed by the Great Plains Institute, the University of Minnesota, and Forio Business simulations. The tool is specific to the Midwest region and uses Vensim system dynamics programming to model a range of federal, state and regional energy policies, and how these policies interact to achieve desired energy outcomes and high impact of clean energy implementation.The Energy Choice Simulator allows the user to change assumptions and policies that interact with an energy consumption baseline, providing a context for the simulation of economic decisions that go out to the year 2050.[1] The ability to experiment with various policies and assumptions allows the user significant flexibility to see and understand both short-term and long-term effects of policy choices.

Inputs and Outputs

Inputs include: Assumptions about a specific state or the entire Midwest region, and potential policies that may be implemented

Outputs include: In-depth analysis of various policy integrations on energy outcomes, greenhouse gas emissions, total public revenues, and total private spending. A graphic interface is provided to supplement the analysis provided.


Although this tool is specific to the Midwest region, it is the one calculator with a flexible user interface that predicts long-range energy outcomes based on implementation of a single policy or a portfolio of policies. The tool allows the user to experiment, which in a group setting provides a means to reach concensus on a decision.


The Midwest region is targeted. This includes ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, IA, MN, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH.


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Energy Choice Simulator"