This class explores global greenhouse gas emissions from energy systems and potential levers for reducing emissions. Lectures and projects focus on decomposing contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, with a particular emphasis on technology related variables such as per unit cost and carbon intensity of energy. Student projects explore technological change pathways for realizing emissions reduction scenarios. Topics include comparisons of the mitigation potential of different energy technologies, empirical studies and models of technological change dynamics, and models for technology portfolio management.
This project-based graduate seminar covers recent developments in new energy conversion and storage technologies. The merits of alternative technologies will be debated based on their environmental performance and cost, and their potential improvement and scalability. Project teams will develop quantitative models and interactive visualization tools to inform the future development of these technologies. Models may probe how the impact of a technology depends on assumptions about future advancements in materials or device design. Other projects may develop models for rational design choices (the selection of a particular material or processing technique) based on economic and environmental performance and physical constraints.