Assessment of Advanced Energy Technologies

Uncertainty and variability are inherent in assessing energy technologies at an early stage of development. However, providing input at this point can provide enormous benefit, both by identifying potential unintended consequences and ensuring that the goals of innovation (e.g., Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets) are achieved. There is currently no comprehensive tool or framework available to evaluate such technologies from a life cycle perspective that addresses the sources and nature of uncertainty and variability in a quantitative and rigorous manner.

Our contributions to this field lay in the development of new methods to broaden the attributes that can be integrated into the assessment of emerging energy technologies, using a life-cycle techno-economic and environmental perspective. By advancing the methods of conducting systems analysis, my research has direct policy implications as Alberta develops and implements its new climate policy. The broader impact of our work is reflected in changes to operating practices by several emerging technology developers in an effort to reduce GHG emissions, explicitly based on recommendations from our assessment.