Energy Strategies for Clean Air
We use computer models to evaluate the potential air quality benefits of energy system changes. Depending on the technology and policy, air emissions (of NOx, SO2, VOCs or other pollutants) may change in space and time. These emissions changes intersect with weather and atmospheric chemistry, affecting the spatial and temporal patterns of ozone and fine particulates. Although we have done work on both transportation and electricity system change, current projects focus mostly on electricity.
We work with energy system modelers to first calculate how changes to the power sector would affect generation and dispatch. We have one project with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where we evaluated the potential air quality benefits of increased solar power for electricity [Abel et al., 2017]. We have another project with the MyPower model, where we assess the potential air quality outcomes of climate change on the electricity sector.