November 6, 2009

Reductions Goals in the Transportation Sector, Christopher Yang


Dr. Christopher Yang, ITS-Davis Researcher - Project Engineer


This talk discusses scenarios that examine how California might reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (i.e., 80in50). A Kaya framework that decomposes greenhouse gas emissions into the product of four major drivers—population, transport intensity, energy intensity, and carbon intensity was used to analyze emissions and mitigation options across each of the transportation subsectors (light-duty, heavy-duty, aviation, rail, marine, agriculture, and off-road vehicles). Scenario analysis shows that achieving 80% reduction in transportation is quite ambitious and requires a concerted effort changing travel behavior and the vehicles and fuels that provide mobility. While no individual “silver bullet” strategy exists that can achieve the goals, a portfolio approach that combines strategies could yield success. The 80in50 scenarios show the impacts of advanced vehicle and fuels technologies as well as the role of travel demand reduction, which can significantly reduce energy and resource requirements and the level of technology development needed to meet the target. This analysis may be of interest to decision-makers and stakeholders concerned with what a transportation system that meets California’s long-term GHG reduction goals could look like and whether current transport policies and technology development are on a path to achieve these goals.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Christopher Yang is a project scientist and co-leader of Infrastructure System Analysis research group within the Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS) research program at ITS-Davis. The goal of the STEPS program is to provide timely analysis and comparisons of alternative fuel pathways (hydrogen, electricity, biofuels and fossil fuels).  His research interests lie in understanding the role of advanced vehicles and fuels in helping to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions through infrastructure and system modeling.  He works on hydrogen infrastructure systems, vehicle and electric grid interactions, and scenarios for long-term reductions in greenhouse gases from the transportation sector. He completed his PhD (2003) in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stanford University in Environmental Science and Engineering.