Integrating Cambium Marginal Costs into Electric Sector Decisions

Integrating Cambium Marginal Costs into Electric Sector Decisions

November 30, 2021

The National Renewable Energy Lab's (NREL) Cambium tool generates simulations of hourly marginal wholesale electricity costs associated with NREL’s Standard Scenarios. The scenarios include growing shares of variable renewable energy between 2018 and 2050. The tool’s primary output could serve as a public and transparent data source that supports electric-sector decision-making processes across the U.S.

During this webinar, Pieter Gagnon (NREL) provides an overview of the Cambium tool and summarizes the recent updates to the tool. Berkeley National Lab researchers present an evaluation of the Cambium cost data, building on their analytical expertise of using historical and forward-looking wholesale electricity prices to inform electric-sector decisions. They compare Cambium data with historical wholesale prices for the year 2018 and other modeled prices for the year 2030. They present case studies in which Berkeley Lab researchers use Cambium data to replicate previous analyses based on other price datasets and qualitatively evaluate Cambium in ongoing studies. The goal is to inform how electric-sector decision-makers may be able to use this dataset, and to highlight what improvements to Cambium may make it even more useful.

Dr. Joachim (Jo) Seel is a Senior Scientific Engineering Associate at Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets and Policy (EMP) Department, working the integration of variable renewable generation into electric power systems.

Dr. Andrew Mills is a Research Scientist at Berkeley Lab’s EMP, leading the department’s research on the integration of variable generation into electric power systems.

Natalie Mims Frick is an Energy Efficiency Program Manager at Berkeley Lab’s EMP, conducting research on energy efficiency technical assistance, policy, program design, implementation and evaluation.

Pieter Gagnon is a Senior Energy Systems Researcher at the Economic and Forecasting Group at NREL, leading the Cambium project.