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Category: Energy

In bold letters "NSF"

California end-use electrification impacts on carbon neutrality and clean air

Widespread electrification, i.e., switching direct fossil fuel end-uses to electricity, coupled with renewable power use is essential to achieve aggressive greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emission reduction targets. Few have investigated the requisite electric grid infrastructure transformation and technology path coupled with spatial and temporal resolution of criteria pollutant emissions for assessing air quality impacts.

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The role of natural gas and its infrastructure in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, improving regional air quality, and renewable resource integration

The pursuit of future energy systems that can meet electricity demands while supporting the attainment of societal environment goals, including mitigating climate change and reducing pollution in the air, has led to questions regarding the viability of continued use of natural gas. Natural gas use, particularly for electricity generation, has increased in recent years due to enhanced resource availability from non-traditional reserves and pressure to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) from higher-emitting sources, including coal generation.

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Geophysical constraints on the reliability of solar and wind power in the United States

We analyze 36 years of global, hourly weather data (1980–2015) to quantify the covariability of solar and wind resources as a function of time and location, over multi-decadal time scales and up to continental length scales. Assuming minimal excess generation, lossless transmission, and no other generation sources, the analysis indicates that wind-heavy or solar-heavy U.S.-scale power generation portfolios could in principle provide ∼80% of recent total annual U.S. electricity demand.

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Net-zero emissions energy systems

Some energy services and industrial processes—such as long-distance freight transport, air travel, highly reliable electricity, and steel and cement manufacturing—are particularly difficult to provide without adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Rapidly growing demand for these services, combined with long lead times for technology development and long lifetimes of energy infrastructure, make decarbonization of these services both essential and urgent.

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A Modeling Framework to Understand the coupling of Food, Energy, and Water in the Teleconnected Corn and Cotton Belts

The resilience of U.S. agriculture is significantly impacted by increasing climate extremes, growing population demands, and evolving land use. This project will develop, evaluate, and apply a model of the coupled Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) systems across the Corn and Cotton Belts of the Midwest, Southeast and Great Plains. The study will evaluate food crops currently grown in these Belts as well as the potential for growing bioenergy crops on marginal land.

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Betsy Bower advising a farmer in Indiana on his crops

Food Companies’ Sustainability Goals Hinge on Soil Health

This is the third season that Bowers has clients a part of a sustainable agriculture program. Company-linked agriculture sustainability programs have been sprouting up over the past few years, mainly in the US but also in Europe and China. Food brands such as Campbell, Kellogg, General Mills, and Mars Wrigley have sustainability targets and are using the initiatives to meet them.

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