Brown, Marilyn A.

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    Energy Security Dimensions and Trends in Industrialized Countries
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011-06) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Sovacool, Benjamin K. ; Wang, Yu ; D‘Agostino, Anthony Louis ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    This article represents one of the first scholarly efforts to correlate actual energy policy and practice with expert views of the multidimensional concept of energy security. Based on the energy security performance of 22 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development between 1970 and 2007, it concludes that many industrialized countries have been unable to make progress toward the goal of achieving secure, reliable and affordable supplies of energy while also transitioning to a low-carbon energy system. However, some national best practices exist, which are identified by examining the relative performance of four countries: the United Kingdom and Belgium (both with noteworthy improvements), and Sweden and France (which have experienced notable slippage in relative performance). The article concludes by offering implications for energy policy more broadly and by providing empirical evidence that our four dimensions of energy security (availability, affordability, energy efficiency, and environmental stewardship) envelop the key strategic dimensions of energy security.
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    Stimulating Energy Efficiency: The Role of Local Governments and Industry
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011-03-17) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Taube, Ben ; School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering ; College of Engineering ; Southeastern Energy Efficiency Alliance
    The speakers will discuss the role of local programs and industry in reducing the intensity of energy use and associated pollution in the U.S.
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    The Transportation Energy and Carbon Footprints of the 100 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-05-23) Southworth, Frank ; Sonnenberg, Anthon ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    In this paper we present estimates of the automobile and truck travel based energy and carbon footprints of the largest 100 U.S. metropolitan areas. The footprints are based on the estimated vehicle miles traveled and the transportation fuels consumed. Results are presented on an annual basis and represent end use emissions only. Total carbon emissions, emissions per capita, and emissions per dollar of gross metropolitan product are reported. Two years of annual data were examined, 2000 and 2005, with most of the in-depth analysis focused on the 2005 results. In section 2 we provide background data on the national picture and derive some carbon and energy consumption figures for the nation as a whole. In section 3 of the paper we examine the metropolitan area-wide results based on the sums and averages across all 100 metro areas, and compare these with the national totals and averages. In section 4 we present metropolitan area specific footprints and examine the considerable variation that is found to exist across individual metro areas. In doing so we pay particular attention to the effects that urban form might have on these differences. Finally, section 5 provides a summary of major findings, and a list of caveats that need to be borne in mind when using the results due to known limitations in the data sources used.
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    Making Buildings Part of the Climate Solution by Enforcing Aggressive Commercial Building Codes
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-09) Sun, Xiaojing ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Jackson, Roderick ; Cox, Matthew ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    This paper examines the impact of an aggressive commercial building codes policy in the United States. The policy would require both new construction and existing buildings that undergo major modifications to comply with higher building shell efficiency and more stringent equipment standards similar to the latest versions of the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard. Using the Georgia Tech version of the National Energy Modeling System (GT-NEMS), we estimate that the building codes policy could reduce the energy consumption of commercial buildings by 0.94 Quads in 2035, equal to 4% of the projected energy consumption of commercial buildings in that year. In the four targeted end-uses – space heating and cooling, water heating and lighting – estimated energy consumption would be 17%, 15%, 20% and 5% less than the Reference case forecast in 2035, respectively. The reduction of electricity and natural gas prices along with the consumption decline could save commercial consumers $12.8 billion in energy bills in 2035 and a cumulative $110 billion of bill savings between 2012 and 2035. The environmental benefits of the policy could also be significant. In 2035, 47 MMT of CO2 emissions could be avoided, generating cumulative benefits of $17 billion by 2035. The estimated benefit-cost ratio of this policy within the commercial sector is 1.4, with a resulting net benefit of $59 billion. The positive spillover effect of this policy would lead to an even higher economy-wide benefit-cost ratio.
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    Making Buildings Part of the Climate Solution by Overcoming Information Gaps through Benchmarking
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-09) Cox, Matthew ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Sun, Xiaojing ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    This paper focuses on the impact of benchmarking the energy performance of U.S. commercial buildings by requiring utilities to submit energy data to a uniform database accessible to building owners and tenants. Understanding how a commercial building uses energy has many benefits; in particular, it helps building owners and tenants focus on poor-performing buildings and subsystems, and enables high-performing buildings to participate in various certification programs that can lead to higher occupancy rates, rents, and property values. Through analysis chiefly utilizing the Georgia Tech version of the National Energy Modeling System (GT-NEMS), updating input discount rates and the impact of benchmarking shows a reduction in energy consumption of 5.6% in 2035 relative to the Reference case projection of the Annual Energy Outlook 2011. It is estimated that the benefits of a national benchmarking policy would outweigh the costs, both to the private sector and society broadly. However, its geographical impact would vary substantially, with the South Atlantic and New England regions benefiting the most. By reducing the discount rates used to evaluate energy-efficiency investments, benchmarking would increase the purchase of energy-efficient equipment thereby reducing energy bills, CO2 emissions, and conventional air pollution.
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    Developing an "Energy Sustainability Index" to Evaluate American Energy Policy
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2007-12-07) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Sovacool, Benjamin K. ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    This paper proposes the creation of an energy sustainability index (ESI) to inform policymakers, investors, and analysts about the status of energy conditions, and to help educate the public about energy issues. The proposed ESI builds on the substantial body of literature on "sustainability" and also draws on past efforts to measure environmental and energy progress – both of which are reviewed below. The index covers four dimensions (oil security, electricity reliability, energy efficiency, and environmental quality) and includes twelve individual indicators. Comparing these indicators in 1970 with 2004, nine have trended in an unfavorable direction, two have moved in a favorable direction, and one has been essentially unchanged. Clearly, the "energy problem" fretted about in the 1970s has not been fully addressed. While the proposed ESI is preliminary and requires further refinement, it takes an important step toward creating a set of indicators that can easily assess and communicate the condition of the U.S. energy system.
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    Making Buildings Part of the Climate Solution by Pricing Carbon Efficiently
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-07) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Cox, Matthew ; Sun, Xiaojing ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    This report examines the impact of instituting an economy-wide tax on CO₂ emissions in the United States, focusing especially on the changes such a tax would have on the energy and carbon profile of the commercial buildings sector. In terms of energy intensity, a carbon tax is estimated to deliver faster and deeper reductions in the commercial sector than in the rest of the economy. Still, its 6.3% energy intensity improvement falls short of the Better Buildings goal of a 20% increase in the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 2020. On the other hand, the carbon tax scenario nearly meets the Waxman-Markey and Copenhagen economy-wide carbon reduction goals for 2020, due partly to a more carbon-lean power sector. The effects of carbon taxes on commercial buildings would be technologically transformational and geographically widespread. While energy expenditures would rise and more capital would be required for energy-efficiency upgrades, the avoided pollution and the reduced CO₂ emissions would generate significant human health and ecosystem benefits. To be successful, a broad community of constituents would need to accept the temporal mismatch between immediate costs and long-term benefits.
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    Potential Impacts of Energy and Climate Policies on the U. S. Pulp and Paper Industry
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008-06-09) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Atamturk, Nilgun ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    Many energy and climate policies are being debated in the United States that could have significant impact upon the future of the pulp and paper industry. Five of these policies are examined here in terms of their possible directional influences on biomass energy and paper production: (1) a national renewable electricity standard, (2) a U.S. greenhouse gas cap and trade system, (3) stronger renewable fuels standards, (4) expanded state incentives for biomass pilot plants, and (5) more favorable taxation of forest property. The observed trends reinforce the value of forest product diversification through the addition of biomass power generation and transportation fuels/chemicals production as co-products of the pulp and paper industry. Therefore, directing capital expenditures to the increasingly cost-competitive and expanding biopower and biofuels markets would appear to have merit in anticipation of the promulgation of new energy and climate legislation. Accelerated investments in new facilities such as biorefineries and cogeneration units and in energy-efficiency upgrades would position the pulp and paper industry to profit from current trends and likely policy initiatives.
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    Myths and Facts about Clean Electricity in the U.S. South
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011-09) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Gumerman, Etan ; Sun, Xiaojing ; Kim, Gyungwon ; Sercy, Kenneth ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    This paper identifies six myths about clean electricity in the southern U.S. These myths are either propagated by the public at-large, shared within the environmental advocacy culture, or spread imperceptibly between policymakers. Using a widely accepted energy-economic modeling tool, we expose these myths as half-truths and the kind of conventional wisdom that constrains productive debate. In so doing, we identify new starting points for energy policy development. Climate change activists may be surprised to learn that it will take more than a national Renewable Electricity Standard or supportive energy efficiency policies to retire coal plants. Low-cost fossil generation enthusiasts may be surprised to learn that clean generation can save consumers money, even while meeting most demand growth over the next 20 years. This work surfaces the myths concealed in public perceptions and illustrates the positions of various stakeholders in this large U.S. Region.
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    Understanding Attitudes toward Energy Security: Results of a Cross-National Survey
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-01) Knox-Hayes, Janelle ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Sovacool, Benjamin K. ; Wang, Yu ; School of Public Policy ; Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
    Energy security is embedded in a complex system encompassing factors that constitute the social environment in which individuals are immersed. Everything from education, to access to resources to policy and cultural values of particular places affects perceptions and experiences of energy security. This article examines the types of energy security challenges that nations face and characterizes the policy responses that are often used to address these challenges. Drawing from a survey of energy consumers in ten countries, we conduct a cross-national comparison of energy security attitudes and analyze each country’s corresponding energy resources, consumption characteristics and energy policies. Through multivariate regression analysis and case studies we find that socio-demographic and regional characteristics affect attitudes towards energy security. Specifically, a strong relationship exists between level of reliance on oil imports and level of concern for a variety of energy security characteristics including availability, affordability and equity. Our results also reaffirm the importance of gender and age in shaping perceptions of security. Level of development, reliance on oil and strong energy efficiency policies also affect individuals’ sense of energy security. In sum, we find that energy security is a highly context-dependent condition that is best understood from a nuanced and multi-dimensional perspective.