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October 21, 2014 / or4green

Upcoming Talk on Carbon Emissions Game

The Carbon Game

The Carbon Game

On October 30, I will be giving a talk on a carbon emissions game I developed with Bob Day from the University of Connecticut.  I have run the game in numerous classes at the Coast Guard Academy and it has also been run by a professor at West Point.  Bob and I are working on a paper about it and as that wraps up, I hope to post more about it here over time including the rules and materials needed to run the game.

Here is more information about the talk:

Title:  On Decision Making in a Carbon Emissions Game


This talk describes a carbon emissions game we developed as an educational tool to be played in a classroom setting.  The game is modeled on real-world electric power markets with a CO2 emissions cap, often referred to as a “cap-and-trade” system.  Players take on the roles of competing utilities, each with a fossil fuel plant and a renewable energy plant. Any electricity generated by fossil fuel requires offsetting carbon credits, which are available via auction. Depending on the auction price, it can either be cheaper or more expensive to generate electricity with fossil fuel versus renewables.  The goals of the game are: for students to become acquainted with cap-and-trade markets; to understand how regulatory policy applied to a market can induce environmental benefits; to discover how to derive strategies mathematically; to get a taste of basic game theory, auctions, and the newsvendor problem as they apply to the game; and to meet these objectives in a fun setting.  While fairly straightforward and simplified to provide symmetry among student competitors, the game can lead to surprisingly interesting results.    This talk describes the game and how to facilitate it, presents strategies, analyzes games that were played, introducing novel quantitative measures to evaluate the quality of game play, and offers a number of suggestions for extending the game. Our hope is that other teachers and researchers will implement the game themselves, taking it in new and exciting directions.

Talk Info:

  • What:  US Coast Guard Academy Department of Mathematics Colloquium
  • When:  Thursday, October 30th 2014, 1:15 – 2: 15 PM.
  • Where:  Room S135, Satterlee Hall, US Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT.  Note you need a picture ID (e.g., driver’s license) to enter the campus.
  • Extra fun:  As part of the talk, I plan to run a small version of the game so attendees can play in order to better experience what the game is all about.
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