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Exploring how MultiSector Dynamics Influence the Evolution of the U.S. Electricity System Power Plant Landscape Under a Range of Future Global Climate and Socioeconomic Scenarios

Presentation Date
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 3:20pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 3:31pm
McCormick Place - S504abc



The locations of future utility-scale electricity generators in the U.S. will be affected by the dynamics and interdependencies between federal and state energy policies, power plant siting regulations, socioeconomics, land use and land cover, climate impacts on renewable resources and electricity demands, and the economics of electricity grid interconnections. Given that the average power plant has a lifetime of 40 years, uncertainties affecting the long-term value of that power create risks for power plant owners and operators. For example, the early retirement of a coal-fired power plant leads to a stranded asset. This presentation will compare renewable and non-renewable power plant siting results in the United States over the 21st century under combinations of shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP3 and SSP5) and representative concentration pathways (RCP8.5 and RCP4.5). We use an integrated modeling approach that couples a global change integrated assessment model (GCAM-USA) with a model of electricity system operations (GO) and the Capacity Expansion Regional Feasibility (CERF) model, a technoeconomic and geospatial siting model. CERF emulates regional siting decision making processes to provide “ground-truthing” for capacity expansion scenarios under various complex influences and stressors. We demonstrate how global- and national-scale changes interact with local constraints (e.g., renewable resource availability, land use policy, population density), interconnection costs, and power grid operations to influence renewable and non-renewable power plant siting (1-km2 resolution) from 2015-2100.

Funding Program Area(s)