Finding the Signal in the Noise: Determining North America’s best path forward for sustainable energy
August 1, 2019. Originally submitted on March 31, 2019
One of the largest engineering challenges of our time is finding technical solutions that permit the use of our energy resources in a sustainable way. In order to achieve meaningful and positive change, new energy systems must adhere to the triple bottom line of sustainability. This means that new technical solutions must be economically, socio-politically, and environmentally sustainable, such that they can be rapidly adopted and accepted. The engineering literature is full of a great many technical proposals for new energy systems, but it turns out to be quite hard to objectively look at them all, see through the hype, and decide which are the best and most promising technologies in which to invest our research and development dollars. In this talk, I will present a case study with the results of our recent meta-study covering over 100 candidate electricity generation systems with carbon dioxide capture, in order to determine which are the most promising classes of technologies. I will show how meaningful big picture conclusions can only be made when using certain consistent standards and methodologies, and present some surprising results about where we should be headed in the fossil-based power generation sector. Then, I will show how this methodology can be extended to other kinds of studies, and make a call for energy systems researchers to change how they conduct techno-economic analyses through a new standardization framework such that we can much more rapidly understand how each study fits into the bigger picture. With these changes, we will be able to most effectively direct our research money and effort to make the wisest decisions about how to develop our energy systems across Canada and the rest of North America.
Calcium Looping, Carbon Dioxide Capture, Chemical Looping, Life Cycle Analysis, Meta-Study, Oxyfuels, Postcombustion Capture, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Technoeconomic Analysis
Suggested Citation
Adams TA II. Finding the Signal in the Noise: Determining North America’s best path forward for sustainable energy. (2019). LAPSE:2019.0442v3
Author Affiliations
Adams TA II: McMaster University [ORCID] [Google Scholar]
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Revision of Version 2 - A few new slides and standards updates
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Presented for the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award Series at the University of Calgary, University of Connecticut, Hatch Corporation, University of British Columbia, and West Virginia University and other locations.
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Aug 1, 2019
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[v3] (Revision of Version 2 - A few new slides...)
Aug 1, 2019
[v2] (Updated to reflect new LAPSE ID)
Mar 31, 2019
[v1] (Original Submission)
Mar 31, 2019
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Apr 1, 2019
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Thomas A. Adams II
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Maximizing Our Impact: A call for the standardization of techno-economic analyses for sustainable energy systems design research