EEM Research Highlighted in Solar Institute Annual Report
The 2011 Annual Report of the Solar Institute highlighted the doctoral dissertation research of two EEM doctoral students, Steven Burns and Ariel Castillo, as summarized below.
Steve Burns’ research “A Linear Programming Model to Support Development and Maintenance of a Solar Grand Plan Deployment Schedule” furthers the concept presented in the “Solar Grand Plan” by developing an optimized buildout schedule to transition the United States to a renewable energy-based electric generating system. The project’s effort focuses on the construction of a linear programming model that will output a buildout schedule based on a least-cost approach, balancing consumer electric costs with resource constraints, technology and development costs, and applicable regulatory requirements and limitations.
This project moves beyond typical market penetration analyses performed for renewable energy systems. Rather than focusing on penetration levels that would be achieved in a free market under a given set of economic and regulatory conditions, the project instead focuses on determining the buildout steps and timing to most efficiently achieve desired renewable energy penetration levels. Consequently, upon completion of this project, the debate regarding large-scale renewable energy deployment will be informed with detailed optimized deployment scenarios that account for cost and resource limitations, providing insight into the achievability of renewable energy targets.
Ariel Castillo’s research “Evaluating the Solar Energy Potential of the Department of Defense” evaluated the solar potential of Department of Defense facilities and non-tactical vehicles. Ariel’s research determined that the Department of Defense would need to set aside only 0.77% of its land area to meet the Department’s total energy needs for facilities and non-tactical vehicles. In addition to his research on solar energy potential, Ariel completed an analysis of other key parameters, including facility energy requirements, carbon dioxide emissions, and the cost of implementing solar energy at 200 major DOD bases in the continental U.S.
In highlighting the research work of Steve and Ariel, Institute Executive Director Kenneth Zweibel wrote “your research has been a key part of the Institute's successes over the years, and we are proud to have your contributions highlighted in our Annual Report. Put simply, your work stands head and shoulders above that of any of the awards we made in our initial competition. We have a lot to thank you for.”