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