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Yang Qiu

headshot of Yang Qiu

PhD Graduate

Bren Hall 1324

Year Admitted

Year Graduated

Research Areas
Development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, application of LCA in material recycling and bio-energy systems.

Faculty Advisor
Sarah Anderson

Eric Masanet, Ranjit Deshmukh, Sangwon Suh

Dissertation Title & Abstract

Economic and Environmental Implications of Low-Carbon Transition in the Energy System: Case Studies on Lighting Technologies, Electricity System, and Direct Air Capture

Decarbonization actions in the energy system play a fundamental role in global climate change mitigation efforts. In addition to their carbon mitigation potential, it is also important to evaluate other sustainability dimensions of these actions. In this dissertation, I evaluated the economic and environmental implications of energy system decarbonization actions by linking the relevant economic and environmental assessment methods with scenario analysis and/or system modeling approaches. This methodology integration makes it possible to capture the effects of system interaction and evolution on the performances of decarbonization actions.

In Chapter I, I quantified the demand for critical rare earth elements (REE) in the lighting sector as it transitions to more energy-efficient lighting technologies, and I also studied the availability and economic feasibility of recycling REE from end-of-life lightbulbs. In Chapter II, I estimated the total system cost of transitioning the U.S. electric power system to zero carbon emission by 2050 using an electricity system optimization model. In Chapter III, I evaluated the prospective environmental impacts of direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) by considering the effects of long-term electricity system decarbonization and technology learning of DACCS. This dissertation provides robust and reliable insights about the potential trade-offs of low-carbon transition in the energy system by evaluating relevant actions in dynamic system contexts.

MS Environmental Science, State University of New York, Environmental Science and Forestry

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