Assessment of Sustainable Power Systems and Energy Systems for Low Carbon Communities

The research develops and applies a systems approach to evaluate the techno-economic and environmental implications of power systems. In addition to advancing the field of life cycle assessment, the work has had an impact on industry and policy approaches. In Dr. Bergerson's early research, she evaluated the cost and environmental tradeoffs of alternatives to shipping coal by rail (through electricity transmission or through gasification to synthetic natural gas then pipeline) from a life cycle perspective. 

Currently, we are further advancing methods in this area, including innovations needed to include land-use impacts and stakeholder values into LCA and techno-economic analysis to inform power-system decisions for a range of energy technologies, including renewable energy systems.

We are also applying LCA concepts to advance assessment methods for energy systems in low carbon buildings and communities. Our assessment models include both the supply and the demand sides of the energy system (the "grid/generation" and the "buildings", respectively) so that the results provide more accurate insights to inform building/community energy systems design and operation decisions