Here we explore how the intensity and decay of environmental impacts influences the relative attractiveness of technologies. We focus on comparing the impacts of greenhouse gases. Papers in progress develop new metrics to compare the impacts of greenhouse gases and technologies to one another. We are also investigating how technology portfolios can optimally adapt to a changing background environmental state.
New metric development: We are working on revised CO2-equivalency metrics that take into account how close in time a technology is used to when critical climate thresholds are expected to be reached. This work focuses on comparing methane and carbon dioxide emissions across various transportation fuels and electricity generation options (Figure 1).
- Edwards MR, Trancik JE, Climate impacts of energy technologies depend on emissions timing, Nature Climate Change, 2014, Vol. 4, pp. 347-352.
Portfolio optimization: In this work we ask how we should value methane and carbon dioxide emissions against one another in a transportation fuel portfolio. We are exploring how revised CO2-equivalency metrics can help reduce environmental impact while meeting energy demand.
- Roy M, Edwards MR, Trancik JE, Timelines for mitigating methane emissions from energy technologies, in review. SSRN, ArXiv.