Brown, Marilyn A.
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ItemChoosing Our Energy Future: Town Hall Discussion of Georgia’s Options for Implementing the Clean Power Plan(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-09-28) Rochberg, Daniel ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Kelly, Kevin ; Hays, Karen ; Elliott, Michael ; Simoglou, Costas ; Strickland, Matthew J. ; Rumley, MaKara ; Matisoff, Daniel C. ; Southworth, KatieIn August 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon pollution from the U.S. power sector to 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. Georgia must submit its initial state plan for implementing the Clean Power Plan by September 2016. Georgia Tech and Climate@Emory are co-hosting a Town Hall meeting to explore the key decisions Georgia must make in developing its state plan and the potential impacts these decisions will have on our environment, our economy, our pocketbooks and our health. This event is intended to engage a broad range of stakeholders, including policymakers, practitioners, students, and the general public.
ItemEnergy and Security in History, Technology, and Society( 2015-02-06) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Lieuwen, Timothy C. ; Moreno-Cruz, Juan ; Stulberg, Adam ; Usselman, Steven W.
ItemBIG IDEAS in Sustainability(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-03-10) Bras, Bert ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Crittenden, John C. ; Gardner, John ; Karas, Bruce ; Leffin, Steve ; Reichmanis, Elsa ; Rivenburgh, DianaA celebration of three newly appointed Brook Byers Professors and a candid and casual discussion with these industry and academic leaders on: BIG IDEAS in Sustainability.
ItemUnderstanding 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, YuEnergy 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.
ItemMaking Buildings Part of the Climate Solution with Flexible Innovative Financing(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-12) Deitchman, Benjamin ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Wang, YuLack of attractive financing remains one of the most significant barriers to energy-efficiency improvements in commercial buildings. This paper examines a flexible financing policy that would support state and local initiatives via loan loss reserves, tax lien financing, revolving loans, performance contracts, and on-bill programs. We examine the impact of different levels of subsidy covering different numbers of technologies, ultimately selecting a 10% subsidy for 64 qualifying technologies. This policy would save almost half a quad of energy in 2020 and 1.04 quads in 2035, producing net social benefits of $105 billion and a benefit/cost ratio of 1.9. Technologies with significant growth in market share include advanced fluorescents and variable-air-volume ventilation systems. Case studies of other technologies illustrate the advantage of optimizing financial assistance to reflect product maturity and cost-competiveness. A 10% subsidy would produce an estimated ten-fold increase in the amount spent on highefficiency equipment in 2035, and the $3.9 billion subsidy in that year would have only an 11% rate of free ridership.
ItemMaking Buildings Part of the Climate Solution by Overcoming Information Gaps through Benchmarking(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-09) Cox, Matthew ; Brown, Marilyn A. ; Sun, XiaojingThis 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.
ItemMaking 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, MatthewThis 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.
ItemSmart-Grid Policies: An International Review(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-08) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Zhou, ShanThe electric power systems of many industrialized nations are challenged by the need to accommodate distributed renewable generation, increasing demands of a digital society, growing threats to infrastructure security, and concerns over global climate disruption. The “smart grid” – with a two-way flow of electricity and information between utilities and consumers – can help address these challenges, but various financial, regulatory, and technical obstacles hinder its rapid deployment. An overview of experiences with smart-grids policies in pioneering countries shows that many governments have designed interventions to overcome these barriers and to facilitate grid modernization. Smart-grid policies include a new generation of regulations and finance models such as regulatory targets, requirements for data security and privacy, renewable energy credits, and various interconnection tariffs and utility subsidies
ItemMaking Buildings Part of the Climate Solution by Pricing Carbon Efficiently(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-07) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Cox, Matthew ; Sun, XiaojingThis 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.
ItemGoing Green: Sustainable Technologies(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-04-19) Brown, Marilyn A. ; Lively, Ryan P. ; Simpson, MarkDr. Ryan Lively, a Postdoctoral Scholar in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, at Georgia Tech, delivered a presentation on novel low-energy intensity separations for biofuels, focusing the potential of Algenol processes for alternative energy production. Mr. Mark Simpson, doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, presented: “The Solar Vortex: Electrical Power Generation Using Buoyancy-Induced Vortices.” Mr. Simpson explored how artificially induced vortices could be harnessed to capture thermal energy. He presented his prototype technology for this purpose, identified the low environmental impact of this novel technology, and presented preliminary findings of its energy efficiency relative to traditional energy sources. Dr. Marilyn Brown delivered a presentation entitled: “The Closing Door on 450 ppm CO or 2° C Rise in Global Temperature.” Dr. Brown addressed the critical role of energy efficiency in meeting national and international energy consumption and CO emissions reductions. Georgia Tech and Duke University have collaborated to advance research in this area and are the only two universities in the U.S. that utilize the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) to model and forecast energy consumption. The NEMS is the major system utilized by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for such energy modeling and forecasting.