Josiah Johnston will be presenting a review of approaches for dealing with uncertainty in the context of Switch, an investment planning tool for low-emission electric power grids. The discussion will also include an introduction to stochastic programming and decomposition tools available for use with the new version of Switch from the PySP python libraries.
This lab meeting will roughly be divided into equal time for presentation and discussion. It will be of most interest to people interested in working with uncertainty in Switch, or general interest in computational tools for optimizing under uncertainty.
Join in for a fun meeting discussing the progress of a variety of SWITCH projects and potential research ideas. Dan Kammen will also provide food to boost brain power and stimulate a lively discussion!
September 29, 20115
The very first customers who bought Tesla's new brand new SUV, will get to drive them away Tuesday night.
The Tesla Model X is pricey, but right now, gas is not. Gas prices could be putting the future of electric cars in danger.
Tesla's ModelX will be the technology motor company's luxury SUV model. With a price tag of more than $80,000 it's not the best option for saving a few dollars by avoiding gas pumps, especially since the price of gas has plummeted over the last year.
"It's not only that Saudi Arabia and the traditional oil countries are flooding the market, we're seeing much more oil and gas being pumped in U.S. states in Canada. There is a glut of oil on the market because of new exploration technologies for fossil fuels," said University of California Berkeley professor Daniel Kammen.
Those falling gas prices might be having an effect on electric car sales. This year, more than 72,000 plug-in vehicles, or EVs were sold, which is lagging behind last year's sales by about 7,000 units.
But Kammen at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy says electric cars will likely continue to grow for a few reasons.
"The price to go a mile in an electric vehicle is about a third what it is to go, even with today's gas prices, than to drive a combustion vehicle," Kammen said.
He says California is under a mandate to have a million EV's on the roads by 2020. And there are lots of incentives for car companies and potential owners, including HOV stickers and rebates.
Chevrolet is re-launching the Volt with a sticker price that's significantly less than a Tesla.
"The 2015 Volt starts at $33,995 and that's before a Federal Tax Credit of $7,500 and in California you can also apply for a $1,500 clean vehicle rebate," said General Motors product specialists Darin Jesse.
It's not clear how much longer gas prices will continue to drop, but in the meantime car companies are hoping buyers will pay attention to these EV options.
SWITCH (Solar and wind energy integrated with transmission and conventional sources) is a linear programming modeling platform used to examine least cost energy systems designed to meet specific reliability, performance and environmental quality standards.
[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignnone" width="615"] SWITCH Project locations: April 2015[/caption]
SWITCH is a capacity expansion model that invests in new generation and transmission assets as well as in end-use and demand-side management options (including electrified vehicles and storage) with a high-resolution assessment and planning package to explore the system performance resting from different scenarios.
SWITCH was initially developed for California, but has been expanded and refined to explore energy choices across the US West (the WECC, Chile, Nicaragua, China), with future plans to cover the East African Power Pool (EAPP) and India.
A wide range of SWITCH publications are in print and in use at various energy, climate, and development agencies.
Decarbonizing electricity production is central to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Exploiting intermittent renewable energy resources demands power system planning models with high temporal and spatial resolution. We use a mixed-integer linear programming model – SWITCH – to analyze least-cost generation, storage, and transmission capacity expansion for western North America under various policy and cost scenarios. Current renewable portfolio standards are shown to be insufficient to meet emission reduction targets by 2030 without new policy. With stronger carbon policy consistent with a 450 ppm climate stabilization scenario, power sector emissions can be reduced to 54% of 1990 levels by 2030 using different portfolios of existing generation technologies. Under a range of resource cost scenarios, most coal power plants would be replaced by solar, wind, gas, and/or nuclear generation, with intermittent renewable sources providing at least 17% and as much as 29% of total power by 2030. The carbon price to induce these deep carbon emission reductions is high, but, assuming carbon price revenues are reinvested in the power sector, the cost of power is found to increase by at most 20% relative to business-as-usual projections.
This paper presents the first detailed long-term stock turnover model to investigate scenarios to decarbonize the
residential water heating sector in California, which is currently dominated by natural gas. We model a mix of
water heating (WH) technologies including conventional and on-demand (tank-less) natural gas heating,
electric resistance, existing electric heat pumps, advanced heat pumps with low global warming refrigerants and
solar thermal water heaters. Technically feasible policy scenarios are developed by considering combinations of
WH technologies with efficiency gains within each technology, lowering global warming potential of refrigerants
and decreasing grid carbon intensity. We then evaluate energy demand, emissions and equipment replacement
costs of the pathways. We develop multiple scenarios by which the annual greenhouse gas emissions from
residential water heaters in California can be reduced by over 80% from 1990 levels resulting in an annual
savings of over 10 Million Metric Tons by 2050. The overall cost of transition will depend on future cost
reductions in heat pump and solar thermal water heating equipment, energy costs, and hot water consumption.
Actualizing the Vision of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common HomeRoundtable at the Pontifical Academy of SciencesNovember 2, 2016
On the Vatican website: click here.
Laudato Si’ is a powerful text, political and poetic, and deeply inspiring. It addresses the most critical issues of our time in vision and substance. It elucidates the necessity and means of “individual ecological conversion”, to see the “world as a sacrament of communion.”
Two of its guiding tenets are “the human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together”, and that we have mutually reinforcing obligations to the earth and to each other. The Beatitudes provide the philosophy to shape our work of transforming and healing society and our planet. The Encyclical provides the blueprint.
The following means and principles to actualize the vision of Laudato Si’ were put forward at the 2 November 2016 Roundtable at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences:
Expand the dialogue with those with influence and power (noting specifically those who drive investment decisions) on the dovetailing of environmental and social issues - “the book of nature is one and indivisible” - and its relevance and implications; toward that end establish a sustainable investment advisory committee for the Vatican’s own investment activities.
Continued personal engagement and presence of the Pope in delivering and keeping current the message of Laudato Si’. The more Pope Francis speaks about climate change and Laudato Si’, the more he will influence public opinion around the world.
A detailed and well resourced communication and messaging strategy for Laudato Si’, targeted to diverse audiences, which stresses the urgency of the challenge. A plan, differentiated in style, tone, pace and suggested terms of engagement for the four different generations that are active at this moment in history. The different generations should be addressed on their own terms, and with their input. Engage leaders in social media to spread and evolve the message of Laudato Si‘.
That the institution of the Catholic Church, serving as spiritual guide and moral messenger, also serve as physical and behavioral example, modeling in microcosm, the planetary vision of Laudato Si’ by accelerating the conversion to sustainable stewardship of its own land and assets, the Church’s training programs for priests being a powerful, integral aspect.
Promote an interdisciplinary interfaith forest, land and climate initiative - which acknowledges the “mysterious relations between things” - convened and directed by an inclusive public private partnership.
Be aware of and address the emotional and spiritual implications and sorrow deriving from our “disfigurement” of our common home, which we have “burdened and laid waste,” and from distressing commercialism, which “baffle[s] the heart.” Laudato Si’ needs to be widely discussed, shared and acted upon in public and mental health circles, for which it has profound relevance.
Principles to incorporate in the various work of our communities, and additional points of discussion:
Understand the relationship between “velocity” of current culture and the loss of internal, spiritual time and time for reflection, which is necessary for building a just and compassionate society.
Recognize that energy poverty is a major impediment to equity and harmony both within and between communities and nations, and greatly impedes our progress in sustaining the Earth as our common home.
Support grass roots activist movements and individuals, as powerful countervailing as well as spiritually enriching forces that make the need for global stewardship vibrant and accessible.
Assure that indigenous forest inhabitants have meaningful work that arises from their values, and their relationship to the land. Assure that there are specific avenues for the wisdom of these communities to permeate our atomized civil societies.
Encourage down to earth dialogue among faith communities and civil society on the subject of environmental market mechanisms which, like any other tool, can be used either for good or ill, remaining mindful that the Economy is a subset of Nature, and not the other way around.
Support governments in crafting policies and laws which reflect our moral and spiritual obligations to each other and to Nature, as they translate into physical and material obligations.
Work to establish local and national commitments to use-inspired basic research, required for sustainable energy and water systems and valuing forests. Research and innovation is a vital tool in implementing the Encyclical, will foster beneficent new technologies, narrow the gap between Nature and technology, and allow people and Nature again to “extend a friendly hand to one another.”
We need a change of heart; we need to increase tenderness towards each other and the environment, and the way we will get there is not built solely on greater analytical insights and new policy, but also moving aesthetic experiences that raise our minds, hearts, and souls towards the good the transcendental, and the holy.
Diets of those consuming industrially produced meat, notably cattle, require a disproportionate amount of arable land, and water. This extravagant inequity highlights that, as with what we purchase, what we eat is a moral choice. Nature’s bounty can be sufficient for all needs, but not all greed.
Engage the spiritual infrastructure of our world geographically, and include georeligious dynamics in dialogues about environmental programs and policy. Keep the spirit of Laudato Si' alive, repeated, and deeply ingrained in communities of faith through communications media, actionable geography-relevant materials (like maps with guided land-use and land/facility maintenance suggestions for various dioceses), and through scientific, and NGO partnerships.
Disseminate a central lesson of Laudato Si’: that we bear moral responsibility for the full lifecycle of activity resulting from our individual economic actions. We each have personal responsibility for the environmental harm caused by the energy we use or the food we eat, any inequity or injustice in the product supply chains that provide us goods and services, and the byproducts and waste we create.
Operationally capitalize on and expand the commonalities between religions, communities, and beliefs around the planet, a shared language that can build understanding and cooperation to support sustainability.
Laudato Si’, explicitly and implicitly, grounds our material reality in a cosmological view of interrelatedness - in the tradition of St. Francis, Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, among others - proclaiming the Universe a “communion of subjects,” and not “a collection of objects.” (Thomas Berry, 1999)
The Article reviews the United States’ recent decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord and recounts some of the most prominent policy discussions surrounding this decision. The Article goes on to explain, that these policy discussions reject science in favor of short-term political gains.
The Article reviews new scientific reports which indicates that sea level rise may be far worse than expected, due in large part to the fact that previous computer models never looked beyond the year 2100. As this Article highlights, our policy discussions have become so heavily focused on the near future that we have created a distorted perception of time that doesn’t mesh with reality. This Article urges policy-makers to take real action on climate now, before it is too late.