Energy and Climate Change Research

Researchers are improving our understanding of how changes in the production and use of energy can impact, and can be impacted by, climate change.

The ways that energy is produced and used are changing, with:
  • increased use of biofuels,
  • growing numbers of vehicles that use electricity, and
  • more electricity generation from wind and solar plants.

Understanding how greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts are affected by these changes requires an understanding of the full life cycle of energy production and use. For example, tailpipe emissions are reduced when using an electric vehicle rather than a conventional gasoline-fueled vehicle, but more electricity is generated, which increases power plant emissions.

Related Resources

  • Air and Energy Production Research
  • Climate Impacts on Energy
  • Water and Energy Research
  • GLIMPSE Model - a tool to find US policy scenarios that simultaneously improve air quality, human health, reduce impacts to ecosystems, and mitigate climate change. It is designed to be fast -- to allow decision-makers to explore a range of options, as well as comprehensive -- to avoid unintended consequences.
  • MARKAL Technology Database and Model - a data-driven, energy system optimization model. Given the structure of the energy system to be modeled and data to characterize each of the technologies and resources used, MARKAL then calculates the least costly set of technologies over time to satisfy the specified demands, subject to various user-defined constraints. Outputs of the model include a determination of the technological mix at intervals into the future, estimates of total system cost, energy demand (by type and quantity), estimates of criteria and GHG emissions, and estimates of energy commodity prices.