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The Environmental Assessment and Optimization (EAO) Group focuses on building tools to reduce the environmental impacts of energy systems. One focus is on understanding greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from fossil energy systems.  We also build optimization tools to improve the environmental and economic performance of energy systems. Our approach includes building engineering-based, bottom-up life cycle assessment (LCA) models to generate rigorous estimates of environmental impacts from energy extraction and conversion technologies. In optimization areas, we focus on renewable-fossil hybridization and integration.

Methane measurements overlain maps from Prisma vs. WorldView 3.

Satellite plumes of methane emissions map overlays taken by Prisma and WorldView 3.

Time lapse skyward view of gas emissions.

Time lapse skyward view of gas emissions.

MW Generation graph comparisons of the Central Pacific to the Mountain West.

Comparative results of hourly electricity grid operations of a Mountain Northwest (top) and Coastal Pacific (bottom) integrated energy system for the week with the peak electricity demand. Results presented include appliance investment optimization. Note that the Coastal Pacific system peak occurs during the summer, when electrified gas demands are low, whereas the Mountain Northwest system peak is further exacerbated by electrification during a time when renewables output is low.

Highlights