Office of Research and Development Publications

A systems perspective on sustainable energy transitions


Dodder, R. A systems perspective on sustainable energy transitions. Global Environmental Science Summit hosted by Perkins Elmer, RTP, North Carolina, June 04, 2021.


The presentation will provide an overview of systems and life cycle approaches to assessing the full environmental impact of changes in energy, fuels, and technologies.


This presentation will discuss energy system modeling approaches as well as life cycle assessment tools for understanding the sustainability of energy pathways. Energy system modeling captures the full system from all primary energy resources to end-use demands in the buildings, industrial and transportation sectors. Life cycle approaches characterizes products, technologies, and fuels from cradle to grave. Together, these approaches help us understand how sources are connected and can point to trade-offs or co-benefits of energy technology change or fuel switching. These approaches can also examine multi-media impacts across climate, air, and water. Several recent studies will be discussed. Energy system modeling of New York City greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets will highlight air quality co-benefits of transportation and electric sector scenarios. Energy system modeling coupled with life cycle approaches will show how decarbonization of the electric sector leads to changes in water withdrawals and consumption for electric sector power generation. Finally, life cycle approaches will examine the impact of changes in material choice for mass reduction of light duty vehicles for energy efficiency improvements.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 06/04/2021
Record Last Revised: 07/16/2021
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 352300