Determining the Role of Energy Storage in Zero-Emission Energy Systems: Assessing and Comparing Environmental Benefits and Impacts at Scale

Speaker: Brian Tarroja, Assistant Professional Researcher, UC Irvine
Host: Energy Graduate Group
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 10:30am to 11:50am
Location: 1605 Tilia Street, West Village, UC Davis
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Abstract:  Energy storage is a key enabling technology of future carbon-neutral energy systems through allowing the capture of otherwise curtailed variable renewable generation, providing load and generation smoothing, providing backup power in response to contingencies, and other services. While these services can result in a wide range of environmental and emissions reduction benefits through offsetting the use of fossil fuel-based electricity resources, these systems also add greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions through their life cycle processes such as materials extraction and manufacturing. Therefore, it is important for energy system planning to weigh the environmental benefits of deploying energy storage to the scale needed to facilitate carbon neutrality goals against their life cycle impacts when deployed to such a large scale. To address this question, we combine life cycle analysis with electric grid dispatch modeling to assess 1) the scale of needs for energy storage to meet high renewable penetration or greenhouse gas reduction goals, 2) the environmental impacts of deploying energy storage systems to such a scale, and 3) identify optimal ranges for energy storage capacity deployment to maximize net environmental benefits, and 4) identify driving factors to improve the net benefit profile of energy storage systems.

Bio:  Dr. Brian Tarroja is an Assistant Professional Researcher in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the Manager of Energy Systems Integration in the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine. He received his PhD. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in June 2014 and is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E) in the state of California. His research focuses on understanding how energy and water infrastructure respond to the deployment of emerging technologies and environmental forces such as climate change for the purpose of improving the robustness of planning efforts for transitioning the energy infrastructure to a more sustainable configuration. Dr. Tarroja also teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on Sustainable Energy Systems at the University of California, Irvine and mentors graduate students in the APEP center.

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