Mitigating Climate and Air Pollution From the Electricity and Transportation Sectors in the United States

Prof. Inês M.L. Azevedo

Stanford University

Monday February 5, 2024, 2 PM ET



In this talk, I will cover a few recent papers and projects that focus on the measurement of emissions and the costs, benefits, and opportunities associated with a transition to sustainable, deeply decarbonized,, and equitable energy systems is needed in the United States. For example, in [1], we show that with an increasing interconnected system that encompasses variable energy sources and complex markets, the emissions embedded in electricity generation and consumption are becoming more difficult to estimate. Using flow tracing and consumption-based accounting, we have characterized the health damages from exposure to PM2.5 from electricity imports and find that that 8% of our estimated premature deaths from electricity consumption in the United States are due to electricity imports; In [2] we assess the consequences of vehicle electrification across the country as a function of where vehicles are charged, and which types of plants are meeting that electricity demand, and in [3] we present a data-driven, realistic model of charging demand that captures the diverse charging behaviors of future adopters in the US Western Interconnection. We find that peak net electricity demand increases by up to 25% with forecast adoption and by 50% in a stress test with full electrification; In ongoing work, we develop tools and analysis that identify the most cost-effective strategies for retirement and replacements of existing electricity generation capacity, which can help guide state and federal decision-makers deep decarbonization plans. 



Inês M.L. Azevedo is Associate Professor in the Department of Energy Science & Engineering at Stanford University. She also serves as faculty in the Global Environmental Policy Social Science Division, and is associate professor, by courtesy, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. She serves as Senior Fellow for the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University and Fellow for the Precourt Institute for Energy (PIE) at Stanford University. She is the co-director of the Bits&Watts Initiative from PIE at Stanford University. She is also Invited Professor with the Nova Business School (Portugal). Prof. Azevedo’s research interests focus on how to transition to a sustainable, low carbon, affordable, and equitable energy system. She is interested in sustainability and energy issues where a systems approach is needed, by combining engineering and technology analysis with economic and decision science approaches. Her current interest is to address energy issues with particular focus on distributional effects and equity. She has published 100+ peer-reviewed journal papers. She has participated as an author and committee member in several National Research Council reports from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She was one of the Lead Authors for IPCC AR6 report on Climate Mitigation for the Energy chapter, and she is now also participating as Lead Author for the upcoming U.S. National Climate Assessment chapter on climate change mitigation. Prof. Azevedo is also contributing as a chapter author to the upcoming U.S. National Climate Assessment report. Prof. Azevedo has received the World Economic Forum’s “Young Scientists under 40” award in 2014, and the C3E Women in Clean Energy Research Award in 2017.



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Feb 05 2024


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


John Xun Yang