ITS-Davis researchers discuss energy transformation findings at ARB seminar

By Alston Lim • UC Davis 2014

During an Air Resources Board seminar on May 1, ITS-Davis researchers Sonia Yeh and Christopher Yang discussed how their energy optimization model is critical to understanding the ways California can meet its 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.

The focus of their model demonstrates many optimized pathways to transform California’s energy system to a low-carbon future, from energy supply (energy resources electricity generation, and fuel production and infrastructure) to end use technologies such as cars and appliances in buildings, transportation, industrial and agriculture sectors.

According to Yeh and Yang, results from the project, “Modeling Optimal Transition Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy in California“, showed that major energy transformations are needed but that achieving the 80 percent reduction goal for California is possible at reasonable average carbon reduction cost (-$75 to $124/tonne CO2 discounted cost) relative to the baseline scenario, which is already on its way to meet the 2020 GHG reduction target that the State already committed to. Availability of low-carbon resources such as nuclear power, technology to capture and sequester carbon from power plants and bio-refiners, increased availability of biomass/biofuels and wind and solar generation, and demand reduction all serve to lower the mitigation costs.

Yeh recently received the 2014 UC Davis Academic Federation Award for Excellence in Research, which recognizes her recent accomplishments in publishing, funding, and societal impact that further the research mission of the university. The award represents the highest research award on the UC Davis campus. Yang is an expert on infrastructure modeling of electricity and hydrogen supply and has published many widely cited articles on low-carbon transportation by 2050.

To view the seminar presentation, click here

To view videos of the seminar presentation, click here