Consequential Energy Systems Analysis: Case Studies on the U.S. Transition Away from Coal
In recent years, concerns about climate change have continued to grow throughout the world. Until very recently, the U.S did not have any comprehensive regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. There had been, however, state level policies like the Renewable Portfolio Standards. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency published the final Clean Power Plan rule, which aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants, which account for roughly 30% of national greenhouse gas emissions.
Coal power plant have historically provided up to 50% of the electricity generated in the U.S. These plants also have the highest greenhouse gas emission rates. As a result, environmental regulations will have the largest effect on the operations of these power plants. Given the reliance of the U.S. power system on coal, what happens at coal power plants will drive the regulatory impacts on the entire power system. In this talk, Professor Jaramillo will discuss the work her research group has done over the last 10 years to understand the climate implications of coal use in the U.S. and how recent regulatory changes may affect the future of the U.S. power system.
Originally from Medellin – Colombia, Dr. Jaramillo has a bachelor’s in civil and environmental engineering from Florida International University (2003), as well as a master’s and PhD in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis in green design from Carnegie Mellon University (2004 and 2007, respectively). Her past research focused on life cycle assessment of energy systems with an emphasis on climate change impacts and mitigation research. As a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, she is currently involved in key multi-disciplinary research projects to better understand the social, economic, and environmental implications of policy-driven changes in the operation of the U.S. energy system. Most recently, she has expanded the focus of her research to include issues related to energy access and development. She strongly believes that what happens in developing countries as they try to provide universal energy access will have profound implications in global environmental systems. There is an opportunity, however, to build innovative modern energy systems that benefit from decades of technological development and experience elsewhere. This newer area of research within her research group aims to create the knowledge that will be required to meet global energy needs.