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General

What is considered outside the scope of the BITES tool? I noticed there are no inputs involving energy policy proposals or regulations - how can we factor these into our scenario? After creating a scenario, why doesn't anything happen after I click on "View Outputs"? I noticed the AEO Base Case Scenarios have data going through 2050 but AEO only publishes data through 2035 - where did you get the 2050 inputs? What is the relationship between the Basic Mode and the Advanced Mode and how are the inputs in the Basic Mode translated into the Advanced Mode? As a starting point, how much energy is currently used in each sector? Can we recommend inputs or features we would like to see added to the tool? Why am I not able to change any of the inputs or use the sliders after opening the AEO Baseline Reference Cases? What kind of information does the icon at the beginning of each listed scenario provide? What is the best way to see the energy savings or emissions savings after creating a scenario? What is the best way to see the energy savings or emissions savings by sector? What are the assumptions made in the calculations and is this information easily accessible to users? How do I stay informed when changes or updates are made to the site?

Buildings

What does the fuel switching input in the Basic Mode apply to?

Industry

Users only input data for 2030 and 2050 so how is the rest of the data extracted?

Transportation

What if I'm interested in a vehicle type not given here?

Electric Generation

Where do I put in total amount of electricity to generate? How does the percent generation by renewables in the Basic Mode translate to individual renewable generation technologies (wind, solar, geothermal etc.) listed in the Advanced Mode?

What is considered outside the scope of the BITES tool?

  1. BITES is not an energy economic model. The user must apply any cost competition in a sector when determining inputs to use.
  2. BITES covers the whole U.S. but does not disaggregate by region or by state.
  3. BITES only has limited consideration of necessary policy drivers.
  4. BITES does not take into account emissions or mitigation opportunities from non-energy sources such as agriculture.
  5. BITES does not included greenhouse gases (GHGs) other than CO2.
  6. BITES does not utilize international trade of emissions "offsets" or temporal shifting through banking or borrowing of allowances as a means to reduce emissions.
  7. BITES does not consider additional sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 such as land-use change and forestry.
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I noticed there are no inputs involving energy policy proposals or regulations - how can we factor these into our scenario?

While there is no explicit mention of policies, the user can still factor these exogenous variables into the inputs. For example, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are regulations designed to improve the average fuel economy of vehicles in the U.S. and the most recent proposal requires automakers to deploy vehicles with an average 54.5 mpg by 2025. The user can factor in CAFE standards by adjusting the MPG input of the Basic Mode (Transportation Sector) or modifying the vehicle stock percentages and efficiency factors in the Advanced Mode (Transportation Sector).

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After creating a scenario, why doesn't anything happen after I click on "View Outputs"?

It is likely that your browser is blocking popups from the site. Make sure that popups from this site are enabled in your browser.

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I noticed the AEO Base Case Scenarios have data going through 2050 but AEO only publishes data through 2035 - where did you get the 2050 inputs?

The data have been linearly extrapolated to 2050 based on the trend from 2010 to 2035.

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What is the relationship between the Basic Mode and the Advanced Mode and how are the inputs in the Basic Mode translated into the Advanced Mode?

The idea of Basic Mode is to give users without an advanced background in energy use a simplified mechanism to create scenarios where only 17 inputs are considered. Through algorithms developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, these inputs are translated into the longer "Advanced Mode" version which contains over 300 inputs. The algorithms are designed to calibrate the inputs at some point between the baseline (AEO 2011 reference case) and an aggressive clean energy scenario depending on the Basic Mode inputs entered. For example, the maximum 80% slider value for renewable energy generation in the Basic Mode will translate to a renewable generation mix in the Advanced Mode which resembles an aggressive low carbon scenario while the minimum slider value of 14% renewables translates into a renewable generation mix which reflects the baseline.

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As a starting point, how much energy is currently used in each sector?

See the "Primary Energy Use by Sector" chart in the Current Energy Use section of the Help page.

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Can we recommend inputs or features we would like to see added to the tool?

To check out additional items which will be incorporated in the future, please check out the Planned Features section of the Help page. If your suggestion is not in the list, click on the "Comment" link at the top of the page and please submit your idea.

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Why am I not able to change any of the inputs or use the sliders after opening the AEO Baseline Reference Cases?

In order to create your own scenario and change the reference case values, you must login and set up an account. After registering, find the shared scenario you want to modify and click on the "copy" icon positioned at the beginning of the line item.

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What kind of information does the icon at the beginning of each listed scenario provide?

The information icon icon is designed to give users a quick summary of the overall emissions, oil consumption, and energy use savings by 2050 for that particular scenario.

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What is the best way to see the energy savings or emissions savings after creating a scenario?

Click on "View Outputs" at the bottom right of the page where you have entered your inputs and view the graphs under the "Benchmarking" header. These graphs plot the scenario output against the AEO baseline to give you a direct means of comparison. You can also go back to the "Scenarios" page and click on the (i) icon next to your scenario - this will give the overall energy and emissions savings from the baseline by 2050.

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What is the best way to see the energy savings or emissions savings by sector?

Click on "View Outputs" at the bottom right of the page where you have entered your inputs. Click on the specific sector heading you are interested in to see the graphs generated in that particular sector. If you prefer, you can see the information in a table by clicking on "View Data Table." Or, if you want to further analyze the data in excel, click on "Export" and the information will be downloaded in an excel file.

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What are the assumptions made in the calculations and is this information easily accessible to users?

Click on the advanced version of the AEO Base Case and the menu on the left will list "Assumptions" at the bottom. The assumptions include information like emission coefficients by energy source, combustion fractions for feedstocks in the industrial sector, and conversion factors used in calculations.

You can also download the spreadsheet version of the BITES tool to view additional information on the calculations used. Click here to download the spreadsheet version.

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How do I stay informed when changes or updates are made to the site?

To stay up to date on the latest project updates and announcements, please sign up for our email mailing list.

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What does the fuel switching input in the Basic Mode apply to?

Fuel switching encompasses the electrification of space heating, water heating and cooking from fossil fuels.

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Users only input data for 2030 and 2050 so how is the rest of the data extracted?

All intermediary calculations for years between 2010 and 2030 and between 2030 and 2050 are linearly calculated. Also, the 2010 AEO data only goes out to 2035 so the data is linearly extracted to 2050 based on the trend from 2010 to 2035.

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What if I'm interested in a vehicle type not given here?

Click on the "Comment" link at the top of the page and please submit your idea.

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Where do I put in total amount of electricity to generate?

The tool is designed to calculate electricity generation automatically in order to meet the total electric demand from the buildings, industry and transportation sectors. The electric sector matches a user-defined mix of technologies under three constraints; meet demand for electricity, have adequate capacity to meet peak load (plus a reserve margin), and prevent the stranding of legacy assets. The user may relax the third constraint by decreasing the average lifetime of those plants. A simple algorithm adjusts the capacity factors of plants in accordance with the other constraints. An underlying stock-and-flow accounting structure tracks capacity additions and retirements and allows for technology characteristics to vary by vintage.

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How does the percent generation by renewables in the Basic Mode translate to individual renewable generation technologies (wind, solar, geothermal etc.) listed in the Advanced Mode?

The slider for percentage renewables generation starts at the AEO baseline projection for renewables in 2050 and maxes out at an aggressive low carbon scenario. The individual renewable generation technologies will be calibrated between the baseline and the Department of Energy's aggressive scenario; a slider value which moves towards the maximum value will result in a mix of renewables corresponding to a more aggressive scenario.

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