Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
"In-depth Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Air Pollutants From Electric Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Systems"
Dr. Destenie Nock is an Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE), and Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). Her research is focused on applying optimization and decision analysis tools to evaluate the sustainability, equity, and reliability of power systems in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. One of her current projects include developing a framework for understanding the sustainability and equity trade-offs for different power plant investments. Another project involves quantifying the air pollution emissions associated with electric transmission and distribution systems. Dr. Nock holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and an Offshore Wind Energy IGERT Fellow.
About the Talk: Electricity generation is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions. Without systematic views of the electricity system the environmental impacts of the electricity sector could worsen due to the trend for increased electrification of different sectors (i.e. transportation and heating). The unintended consequences of failing to build efficient transmission and distribution (T&D) systems include higher greenhouse gas emissions, added costs due to oversizing of generation fleet, and a host of environmental impacts. Mismanagement, pilferage, and improper maintenance also contribute to increased losses on the T&D system. Previous mitigation strategies have primarily focused on reducing emissions generated at the power plant level, rather than looking at the impact of emissions from inefficiencies in the delivery of electricity. Here we quantify the overall sustainability losses of inefficiencies on the power grid. In our work we combine power generation life cycle assessments with uncertainty analysis to put a bound on the potential air pollution emissions from compensatory generation associated with technical and non-technical T&D losses. In this paper, we estimate the compensatory air pollutants associated with T&D losses under a fixed electricity generation profile in 142 countries.
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