Argonne National Laboratory

NEAT: Non-Light Duty Energy and GHG Emissions Accounting Tool

This accounting tool, NEAT, estimates energy demand and GHG emissions from non-light duty freight modes through 2050. NEAT has been developed to provide estimates of the potential end-use energy consumption, upstream energy consumption, and GHG emissions impacts through 2050 of a Base Case and user defined alternative case(s) relating to five domestic freight carrying modes and their use of alternative fuels. The five modes are: (1) Intercity freight-carrying Trucks, (2) Freight Rail, (3 Domestic Freight Marine, (4) Domestic Freight Aviation, and (5) Pipeline. The tool consists of a Microsoft Excel© workbook that contains Base Case estimates of U.S. freight mode energy use and carbon emissions to 2050. This file can be modified to reflect alternative assumptions about commodity ton-mile changes, mode share changes, modal energy intensity changes, alternative fuel market penetration, and electricity generation mix for pipeline compressors.

NEAT Base Case

As much as possible, NEAT reflects data from Federal Highway Administration's Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) projections and Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) projections. However, there are differences. First, both the FAF and AEO projections are not always to the year 2050. In NEAT, projections are made to 2050 by using growth rates derived from the two projections where necessary. Second, the FAF projections include ton-miles by multiple modes and unknown/other modes. Analysts at Argonne developed a methodology to allocate these ton-miles to five known modes. Third, neither FAF nor AEO provide commodity and mode level energy intensities. The commodity level energy intensities were developed at Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) and later adjusted so that total modal energy use matches with the known data in the Transportation Energy Data Book published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Future energy intensities reflect modal energy intensity improvements projected in the AEO. Fourth, neither FAF nor AEO estimate full fuel cycle GHG emissions or upstream energy consumption for freight modes. To generate such estimates, NEAT uses feedstock, fuel production, and exhaust GHG emissions and upstream energy use rates from Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model. There are some other differences. Documentation of the sources for the estimates is contained in "notes" throughout the workbook.

NEAT Developers

NEAT has been developed by the analysts at Argonne National Laboratory. The initial work was undertaken as a part of the Transportation Energy Futures (TEF) Study conducted jointly by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Argonne. Beginning 2013, further development work is sponsored by Jacob Ward and Rachael Nealer at Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Anant Vyas at Argonne developed NEAT. Following Anant Vyas’ retirement, Yan Zhou became its current manager, and can be contacted at

Latest Version of NEAT

The latest version of NEAT uses projections from FAF version 4.0 and 2017 AEO. Projections relating to energy commodities are obtained from 2015 AEO. AEO’s energy projections are converted to tonnage, adjusted to account for their handling by more than one modes, and multiplied by length of haul to arrive at ton-mile. AEO data are also used for estimating factors representing change in energy intensity of each mode, for developing fuel shares for each mode, and for developing reference case electricity generation shares. This version of NEAT is also updated with upstream energy use rates and full fuel cycle GHG emissions rates from the 2017 version of GREET.

Other changes for the 2017 NEAT include:

  • Revision of the method for allocating multiple mode ton-miles to known modes in which the truck share of multi-mode ton-miles is now dependent on commodity instead of a flat share in the earlier version,
  • Pipeline energy is now computed and summarized as that for natural gas pipelines and other pipelines.
  • Allocation of SCTG 17500 to fuel ethanol (changed from 08310 in 2015 NEAT), and
  • Revision of the 2015 mode and commodity energy intensities to match known modal energy consumption data.

The 2017 version of NEAT is available as a Microsoft Excel workbook named "2017 NEAT Working File." The file can be downloaded by clicking on the link available on the right margin. The first worksheet in the Excel workbook provides instruction on how to use NEAT. For each run of the tool, the file should be opened, modified as per user requirements, and saved under a different name. Ideally the new name would reflect the underlying assumptions of the specific run. The original file should not be changed because it contains all charts relating to the Base Case to be used for comparison with the scenario being analyzed.

Detailed documentation for NEAT is available for download.

Earlier Version of NEAT

The 2015 version of NEAT was developed by using Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) projections version 3.5 and Energy Information Administration’s 2015 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO). This 2015 version consisted of the EXCEL workbook “2015 NEAT Working File.”

During the model formulation and initial development of NEAT, the developers used projections from 2013 Annual Energy Outlook and Freight Analysis Framework 3.2. This version is labeled as the 2013 version of NEAT. The 2013 version of NEAT consisted of an EXCEL workbook, "2013 NEAT Working File."