Energy Sector Emissions Downscaling: Methods and Challenges

Speaker: Emily Fisher, Johns Hopkins University

Date and Location

When (Date/Time)

March 22, 2017, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM


157 Hosler Bldg.

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Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy Seminar - a Light Lunch will be provided.

Abstract: The energy sector relies heavily on combustion of fossil fuels to fulfill demand for services, which results in harmful air emissions. Changes in the structure or composition of the energy sector, such as a change in the mix of fuel sources, generation or end use technologies, locations, or operating patterns, can change the types, amounts and regional patterns of emissions. Air quality and human health effects of emissions depend on what is being emitted, how much is being emitted and where those emissions are released. Computer models can be used to project and analyze changes in the energy sector and the resulting changes in emissions.

In this research, energy sector transitions over the next several decades are modeled using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS), and results from this model will be downscaled in order to project changes in emissions and make them usable input for air quality simulations. Although NEMS is the most widely accepted energy model to capture interactions between all facets of the energy sector, there are some challenges with using NEMS results for air quality research: NEMS does not calculate emissions for all energy sector activity and NEMS is not granular over space or in time. In this talk I will describe the steps required to downscale NEMS results and review the challenges and potential solutions.