Climate Mitigation Strategies

Integration of variable and intermittent sources of electric power:
Legislation enacted in half the states and proposed in the 111th Congress mandates that 20 to 30% of electric power be produced by “renewable” technologies such as wind and solar. Unlike other generation sources the power output from these sources varies at both long and short time-scales. In increasing wind and solar from 1% of U.S. power generation to 20 times that, a variety of issues such as this will be encountered in the integration of these sources into power systems, meeting reliability, quality, and conventional pollutant emission objectives… [+more]

Adoption and integration of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles into electric power systems:
Different battery, vehicle, and infrastructure pathways, introduce considerable uncertainty regarding environmental and economic outcomes of a transitions to alternative transportation systems. Decision makers involved in a transition to electrified transportation need to make long-lived policy, capital and infrastructure decisions in the face of these uncertainties. Our research informs decision makers on how to maximize GHG emissions abatement and plan for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle integration, while minimizing costs and regional emissions… [+more]

Choice of the mix of future electric power generation technologies:
A portfolio of strategies and technologies will be needed to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions from electric power generation by the middle or latter part of this century. Since each of the strategies and technologies that might be adopted to reduce emissions is different, and has very different attributes, choice of the “best” mix is a decidedly normative process. While power companies and PUCs will play a role in making such choices, it would also be highly desirable to involve NGOs and representatives of the general public… [+more]

Promoting energy efficiency
The enormous potential for increased energy efficiency is several previous assessments. While there is now more funding for technological breakthroughs, our proposed research focus on the causes of the low adoption rates of existing efficiency measures and energy conserving behaviors… [+more]

Carbon footprints:
Assessing the “carbon footprints” of activities and developing and assessing alternatives to help reduce them is easier said than done. The carbon footprints of even simple actions vary as a result of geographical, technological, and social factors. While the literature on comparative analysis of the GHG emissions of technologies advances, users of such research typically do not have the information necessary to understand the assumptions that cause footprints to be higher or lower… [+more]