[Eoas-seminar] Sarah Simm Honors in the Major defense

eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu
Thu Apr 11 21:39:56 EDT 2019

I’m pleased to announce that Sarah Simm (Environmental Science & Policy) is defending her Honors in the Major undergraduate research thesis, Friday, April 12, CAR 104 at 1 pm.

Title: A Clean Energy Plan for the City of Tallahassee 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Abstract: In 2017, the City Commission of Tallahassee voted to adopt the US Conference of Mayors proclamation to move the city’s energy to 100% Renewable Energy by 2035. In this thesis, the potential sources of renewable energy for Tallahassee are reviewed, and solar photovoltaic cells (PV) is found to be effectively the only source. Current renewable energy sources for the transportation sector were modeled to be entirely based on switching the vehicle fleet to electric vehicles (EVs) which increased the electrical demand by about 30%. The infrastructure costs of solar PV are anticipated to be large, perhaps prohibitive, which could limit the city in attaining its renewable energy goals. The costs associated with installing utility-scale solar PV sufficient to displace the entire electrical energy demand of the city is examined. Three scenarios for the rate of PV installation were examined: (1) a linear installation rate of 90 MW-DC/year; (2) an exponential rate of installation; (3) a constant spending rate of $32M/year, that all yielded sufficient energy to displace all projected natural gas electricity production. The key assumption proved to be the projection algorithm for the future costs of solar PV panels which was taken to be an exponential function with a seven-year e-folding time. Each of the scenarios explored yielded substantial fiscal savings by displacing the natural gas fuel cost of the existing generation capacity. Increasing the entire costs of solar PV by a factor of two still yielded a long-term savings for the city. Land costs for installing sufficient utility-scale solar PV were found to add an additional 10% to the total costs. Strategies that the city could adopt to further reduce costs, like encouraging rooftop solar, solar water heating, home batteries, etc., are examined and could reduce costs by about a third. All scenarios led to a substantial integrated CO2 emissions reduction of about 50% relative to a business-as-usual scenario. Post-2035, CO2 emissions are zero, and the lower operating costs of solar PV results in long-term fiscal viability of the the 100% Renewable Energy goal. The impact of the city’s recently adopted 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 goal is assessed.

Munir Humayun
Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science
	& National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Florida State University
1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, FL32310
(850) 644-1908
(850) 644-0827 (FAX)

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