WRI, Greenlink Analytics and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network organized the Broadly Beneficial Clean Energy Planning project to assist cities with integrating equitable planning approaches into their clean energy strategies.

At the core of the project was a three-part webinar training series, which guides U.S. local government staff through equity-centered, scenario-based planning for community level energy policy. The three-part virtual training, facilitated by WRI and Greenlink Analytics, provided insights on methods, tools and processes for scenario planning to achieve equitable clean energy outcomes. Selected participants also received baseline spatial energy burden data and modeling services from Greenlink customized for their cities. The series provided city participants with concepts, practices and resources to build and implement inclusive, stakeholder-centered, data-driven planning processes for clean energy policies and programs with their communities.

This project was supported by a grant from Summit Foundation and was implemented in partnership with Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners.

Session 1: Stage-Setting and Baseline Data

This session introduces scenario planning and the role of baseline data. Watch the recording and download the slides.

Topics in this session include:

  • How social equity is central to effective clean energy planning
  • How scenario planning can structure a stakeholder-centered planning process
  • What scenario planning is
  • How to build a baseline assessment around stakeholder-identified priorities and values

Session 2: Defining and Modeling Scenarios

This session examines scenario development around stakeholder-defined priorities and explores resources for modeling scenarios to produce quantitative descriptions of possible futures. Kate Johnson of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment describes the planning process behind DC’s ambitious zero-carbon 2050 plan. Watch the recording and download the slides.

Topics in this session include:

  • How to help community members interpret and think about quantitative data
  • How to guide stakeholders to explore potential futures under different possible energy policy scenarios
  • Existing resources for modeling scenarios and generating quantitative predictions of sustainability and social equity outcomes

Session 3: Turning Scenarios into Policies

This session revisits the role of government in empowering leadership from frontline communities, explores the interpretation of scenario modeling results and policy design to bring about the community’s favored outcomes. Brittany Sellers of the City of Orlando describes how her office evaluated possible policies on the basis of likely impact, feasibility and social equity outcomes. Watch the recording and download the slides.

Topics in this session include:

  • How to use scenario modeling to structure—but not dominate—a stakeholder-centered planning process
  • How to find policies and programs that other cities have used to effect particular clean energy outcomes
  • How to evaluate potential policies based on feasibility and equity outcomes
  • How to design implementation to promote equitable distribution of burdens and benefits

Other Project Resources


Photo credit: Jeff Krause/Flickr