The Technology Path to Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions by 2050: The Pivotal Role of Electricity

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 4:00pm
Speaker Information: 
Dr. Jim Williams

Title:  “The Technology Path to Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions by 2050: The Pivotal Role of Electricity” 

Abstract:  In a recent paper in Science, we analyzed the path of infrastructure and technology changes required to meet California’s goal of reducing GHG emissions 80% below 1990 levels, using detailed modeling of infrastructure stocks, resource constraints, and electricity system operability.  We found that achieving technically feasible levels of energy efficiency and decarbonized energy supply, while necessary, are not sufficient, and that widespread electrification of transportation and other sectors is also required.  In this scenario, decarbonized electricity would become the dominant form of energy supply, displacing most fossil fuel use.  Such a transformation would require some technologies that are not yet commercialized, as well as highly coordinated investment, technology development, and infrastructure deployment.  In the seminar we will discuss this work and its implications for policy and on-going research.

Williams, J.H., A. DeBenedictis, R. Ghanadan, A. Mahone, J. Moore, W. Morrow, S. Price, M.S. Torn (2012), The technology path to deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts by 2050: the pivotal role of electricity, Science, 335, 53-59.

Bio: Dr. Jim Williams is Chief Scientist at Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), a San Francisco consulting firm, and Associate Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He received his B.S. in Physics from Washington and Lee University, and his Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from U.C. Berkeley.

Kroon Hall, Burke Auditorium See map
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT