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Air and Energy Production Research

The energy choices we make as a society clearly influence air quality and climate change. In an evolving energy landscape, how do we make sustainable energy decisions that balance environmental, economic, and social objectives?

Researchers are studying the potential health and environmental impacts of using different energy sources such as petroleum and biofuels-fuels derived from plant matter.

The research goals include:
  • Evaluate the impacts of changes in the energy system to climate and air quality.
  • Assess the impacts of air quality on biomass as an energy source.
  • Identify and analyze models and approaches to assist with understanding impacts of emerging energy technologies and resources.

The research will improve the ability of the nation to evaluate the potential costs, benefits and risks associated with production and use of emerging energy resources.

Related Resources

  • Energy Publications for Air Research
  • GLIMPSE Model - a tool to find US policy scenarios that simultaneously improve air quality human health, reduce impacts to ecosystems, and mitigate climate change. It is designed to be fast -- to allow decision-makers to explore a range of options, as well as comprehensive -- to avoid unintended consequences.
  • MARKAL Technology Database and Model - a data-driven, energy system optimization model. Given the structure of the energy system to be modeled and data to characterize each of the technologies and resources used, MARKAL then calculates the least costly set of technologies over time to satisfy the specified demands, subject to various user-defined constraints. Outputs of the model include a determination of the technological mix at intervals into the future, estimates of total system cost, energy demand (by type and quantity), estimates of criteria and GHG emissions, and estimates of energy commodity prices.