Aside from the cost of a NEMS run, the most frequently asked question we get from clients and prospective clients is, “How long is it going to take?” Many of our clients have specific timelines in mind for the energy modeling and analysis that we do. For example, the client might be a non-governmental organization aiming to release a report at the beginning of a new administration or a session of Congressional activity.
Any analysis using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) requires both time and expertise to design appropriate scenarios, customize the model if needed to incorporate additional capabilities, change model inputs to correctly reflect the desired policy or technology, interpret the model results, and compare the outcomes of various scenarios. The key to the analysis is to ensure that the end result meets the client’s needs.
We always do our best to help our clients meet their deadlines, but we thought it would be helpful if, in this article, we discussed some of the factors that affect the length of time required for running the NEMS model and providing useful analysis of the results.
Three Time Factors for a NEMS Model Run
1. The Scope of a Project
Projects meant to examine a single factor usually don’t take longer than a couple of weeks to set up the scenario, run the model and interpret the results. Projects that are looking at a wider range of factors (for example, multiple energy sectors or policies) take longer to set up and analyze. Projects that require a large number of scenarios or need a high level of model customization can take several months.
2. The Level of Backend or Frontend Analysis Required
Clients who are newer to modeling, policy design and implementation, or the technical aspects of a particular energy sector or technology will need more of our expert assistance in setting up customized assumptions for the model and interpreting the results. On the other hand, some of our clients are veterans at this and don’t require the same level of analysis either before or after running the model, which reduces the amount of time needed.
3. How Long Our Clients Have Been With Us
One of the benefits of being a long-term client with us is that each new project will often take less time to complete. For some of our longer-term clients, we have already customized the model and reporting tools for their needs, and for new projects, less additional customization is required. For newer clients, it is likely to take a bit longer to build the relationship and ensure that the model is used appropriately and contains the necessary capabilities to answer the client’s questions.
Rough Time Estimates
Here is a rough idea of how long it will take to use the NEMS model to answer your energy questions. Of course, the timeframe will vary according to the specific requirements of your project.
- A project with a narrow focus and not requiring model customization could take as little as a week or two.
- A project with a narrow focus and requiring only minor model changes could take as few as six weeks.
- More complex projects, including multiple complex scenarios or model customization, could take six months or more.
Contact us and we would be happy to discuss your project with you and give you a better understanding of how long it will take.
If you've previously downloaded the paper, take the next step with OnLocation.