2009 Outstanding Dissertation (Tie) – Ryan McCarthy

In his dissertation, McCarthy develops modeling tools to investigate the impact of vehicle recharging on the electricity grid in California. Based on likely recharging profiles and current electricity supply in the state, McCarthy finds that greenhouse gas emissions rates from power plants supplying vehicle electricity demands are more than 40% higher than the average from all generation supplying electricity demand in California. Over the long term, electricity supplying vehicle demands will become ìcleaner,î and impacts of recharging potentially millions of vehicles may have important impacts on electricity supply, affecting the types of power plants added to the grid, their operation, and costs associated with integrating large amounts of wind and solar power. McCarthyís dissertation work may have important policy implications, and has been a subject of discussion in ongoing regulatory rulemaking.

Ryan is a California Council on Science and Technology Policy Fellow, and is spending a year in the state legislature. He staffs Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter on science and technology policy issues, especially those related to energy, natural resources, and transportation issues facing California.

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