Focal Areas


Recent and emerging efforts to mitigate environmental problems such as climate change and explore pathways to a cleaner energy future necessitate tools for assessing technology and policy options. The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions maintains a suite of models to explore a range of environmental and energy issues. Our models include:

Dynamic Integrated Economy/Energy/Emissions Model (DIEM)

DIEM links a macroeconomic simulation model of the global economy with a focus on U.S. energy and a detailed representation of regional electricity systems, allowing the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions to evaluate the broad economic and environmental impacts of technologies and policies at regional, national, and global scales.  

PowerOptInvest Model

PowerOptInvest is an investment decision model that determines the least cost investment and operating strategies for electric power generation facilities. The beta version of the model is available for use by utility commissions, utilities, and NGOs.

National Energy Modeling Systems Model (NEMS)

DUKE-NEMS is a comprehensive model of the U.S. energy sector that allows for detailed analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.  The NEMS model is developed and maintained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

AURORAxmp Electric Market Model

This regional electric sector dispatch model is designed to simulate chronological unit commitment and dispatch of EGUs and market price formation under various conditions and constraints. It used by utilities, traders, consultants, and researchers for a wide variety of applications from short-term price forecasting to long-term policy and planning work over a large footprint.

Duke University Emissions Trading Model (DUET)

DUET forecasts emissions reductions and allowance trading by sector at different carbon dioxide caps.


This model focuses analyses on greenhouse gas emissions and bioenergy  in the U.S. forest and agricultural sectors.