Eileen V . Quigley
Net-Zero Northwest: Technical and Economic Pathways to 2050 is an economy-wide deep decarbonization pathways analysis to guide actions that will put Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington on the path to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Energy Pathways and Health Impacts

On June 19, 2019, the Clean Energy Transition Institute (CETI) released Meeting the Challenge of Our Time: Pathways to a Low-Carbon Future for the Northwest, the nation’s first regional decarbonization pathways study to demonstrate that achieving decarbonization (80% below 1990 levels by 2050) in the Northwest was technically and economically achievable.

The analysis examined low-carbon pathways tailored to the unique characteristics of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington in the context of the Western electrical grid, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

Evolved Energy Research (Evolved) performed the modeling, which became the blueprint for regional stakeholders seeking to understand the opportunities and challenges for achieving the five deep decarbonization pillars—Efficiency, Clean Electricity, Electrification, Clean Fuels, and Carbon Capture.

The following year, the analysis became the technical foundation for the Washington 2021 State Energy Strategy, as well as for Montana’s Climate Solutions Plan for how that state might address its greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, Evolved and CETI  provided pathways analysis that led to the Oregon Legislature’s passage of that state’s clean electricity standard.

Recognizing that the climate crisis requires us to go beyond the original decarbonization target of 80% below 1990 levels and achieve net-zero emissions, CETI embarked on the NZNW analysis, which is modeled after Princeton University’s Net-Zero America and REPEAT projects. Evolved provided the energy pathways modeling for both of these projects.

The NZNW Energy Pathways and NZNW Health Impacts analyses update all previous regional pathways studies; incorporate the Inflation Reduction Act provisions; and provide health impacts in addition to energy pathways analysis.

Workforce Analysis

The NZNW Workforce analysis is the Northwest’s first comprehensive clean energy workforce analysis. The study is developed by BW Research Partnership (BW Research), a national applied research firm that analyzes economic and workforce data.

BW Research has produced the U.S. Energy & Employment Jobs Report (USEER) since the Department of Energy initiated that comprehensive summary of national and state-level employment, workforce, industry, occupation, unionization, demographic, and hiring information by energy technology groups in 2016. BW Research also performed the economic analysis for New York State’s 2021 Jobs Report for New York State’s Just Transition Working Group and the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030.

For the NZNW Workforce analysis, BW Research examines the jobs to be created or displaced if the Northwest were to achieve net-zero emissions, as Evolved modeled, by occupation and location in the buildings, fuels, electricity, and transportation sectors throughout the region.

Workforce Analysis