Buildings & Energy

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Distributed energy generation-incorporating efficiency, local renewables and combined heat and power systems-has the potential to enhance cities’ environmental, health, and wellbeing outcomes. Specifically, it has the power to enhance supply reliability during extreme events, promote energy efficiency and conservation, reduce GHG emissions, curb air pollution, and minimize power generation’s water withdrawal intensity, all while helping to reliably meet peak demand.

To advance understanding of how best to leverage distributed energy systems, the network’s research efforts are exploring the social and institutional factors that enable (or inhibit) distributed energy deployment at the community scale. The network’s efforts are also examining the necessary levels of participation by, and coordination of, individual users as well as appropriate mechanisms for overcoming the legal and financing barriers to wider deployment.

The network is also investigating the technical requirements of broader distributed energy system deployment, including the challenge of integrating distributed and centralized energy systems across scales. Key elements of the network’s technical research include design and testing of hardware interfaces, integration controls, and stochastic models that explore longer time scales, more complex system configurations and inter-system integration, such as energy & water system integration. Researchers are also developing more detailed urban energy models that consider the spatial distribution of power demand, loads, storage and generation over space and time.

OUR PRODUCTS

All Urban Areas’ Energy Use Data Across 640 Indian Districts: For Year 2011

  • May 2020
  • Data Sets
  • Author: Multiple

All Urban Areas’ Energy Use Data Across 640 Indian Districts (AllUrE-India) provides data on urban areas’ electricity and fossil fuel use in households, industrial sectors, transportation, and commercial buildings and … Read more

Institutional arrangements and airport solar PV

  • May 2020
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Serena Kim

Kim, S. (2020). Institutional arrangements and airport solar PV. Energy Policy, 143, August 2020, 111536. ABSTRACT: Combining a unique dataset of 488 public airports and interviews with managers and stakeholders … Read more

A method to estimate residential PV generation from net-metered load data and system install date

  • May 2020
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Stainsby, W., D. Zimmerle, and G.P. Duggan. A method to estimate residential PV generation from net-metered load data and system install date. Applied Energy (267). ABSTRACT: In the USA, residential … Read more

Collaboration mitigates barriers of utility ownership on policy adoption: evidence from the United States

  • May 2020
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Curley, C., Harrison, N., Xu, C.K., & Zhou, S. (2020). Collaboration mitigates barriers of utility ownership on policy adoption: evidence from the United States. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. … Read more

Environmentally sustainable transitions of US district energy systems

  • April 2020
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Tong, K., Ramaswami, A., & R. Feoick (2020). Environmentally sustainable transitions of US district energy systems: Perspectives from infrastructure operators/designers through the Co-evolutionary lens. Journal of Cleaner Production. ABSTRACT: Advanced … Read more

Electricity Load Implications of Space Heating Decarbonization Pathways

  • February 2020
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Waite, M. & Modi, V. (2020). Electricity Load Implications of Space Heating Decarbonization Pathways. Joule, 4(2), doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2019.11.011. ABSTRACT: We investigate implications of building space heating decarbonization pathways across the … Read more

Assessing new transmission and energy storage in achieving increasing renewable generation targets in a regional grid

  • September 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Conlon, T., Waite, M., & V. Modi. (2019). Assessing new transmission and energy storage in achieving increasing renewable generation targets in a regional grid. Applied Energy, 250, 1085-1098. ABSTRACT: This … Read more

A 40-year review of food–energy–water nexus literature and its application to the urban scale

  • July 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Newell, J.P., Goldstein, B., & Foster, A. (2019). A 40-year review of food–energy–water nexus literature and its application to the urban scale. Environmental Research Letters, 14(7). ABSTRACT: Essential for society … Read more

Renewable Energy Planning for Future with All-Electric Heating

  • May 2019
  • Podcast

In this 10-minute podcast from Minnesota Public Radio’s (MPR) Climate Cast, Anu Ramaswami, SHCN Director and professor at the University of Minnesota’s  Humphrey School of Public Affairs, discusses the local … Read more

Tracing Power With Circuit Theory

  • May 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Chen, Y.C. & S.V. Dhople. Tracing Power With Circuit Theory. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. 11(1), 138-147. ABSTRACT: Power tracing is the task of disaggregating the power injection of a … Read more

Distributed Electricity-Based Heating Systems and Renewable Energy Scenario Planning

  • April 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Shengxi Yuan, Wendell Stainsby, Mo Li, Kewei Xu, Michael Waite, Dan Zimmerle, Richard Feiock, Anu Ramaswami, Vijay Modi

As residential heating converts from natural gas-based to electricity-based systems, can enough renewable energy be generated locally to meet most, if not all, of increased electricity demand? This study uses … Read more

Future Energy Scenarios with Distributed Technology Options for Residential City Blocks in Three Climate Regions of the United States

  • February 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Shengxi Yuan, Wendell Stainsby, Mo Li, Kewei Xu, Michael Waite, Dan Zimmerle, Richard Feiock, Anu Ramaswami, Vijay Modi

Yuan, S., Stainsby, W., Li, M., Xu, K., Waite, M., Zimmerle, D., Feiock, R.,  Ramaswami, A., & Modi, V. (2019). Future energy scenarios with distributed technology options for residential city blocks … Read more

Impact of deep wind power penetration on variability at load centers

  • February 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Waite, M., & V. Modi. (2019). Impact of deep wind power penetration on variability at load centers. Applied Energy, 235(1), 1048-1060. ABSTRACT: Increasingly, variable renewable energy capacity will be added … Read more

Science-Policy Dialogue Report No. 1- Distributed and Localized Infrastructure in Cities

  • September 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The localization and decentralization of key infrastructure systems has emerged as a potential strategy for helping cities achieve multiple sustainability outcomes spanning environment, economy, health, wellbeing, and equity. Examples of … Read more

Resource Requirements of Inclusive Urban Development in India

  • September 2018
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Ajay Nagpure and Anu Ramaswami

What are the energy and resource requirements of equitable and inclusive urban development? Understanding the resource requirements of developing more inclusive cities in India is the focus of this paper. … Read more

Design Choices and Equity Implications of Community Shared Solar

  • May 2018
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Chan, G., Evans, I., Grimley, M., Ihde, B., & P. Mazumder. (2017). Design choices and equity implications of community shared solar. The Electricity Journal, 30 (2017), 37-41. ABSTRACT: What is the … Read more

Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Transitions in the ASEAN Region: A Resource Perspective (UN Environment and Sustainable Healthy Cities collaboration)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The ASEAN nations are a hot spot for rapid urbanization over the next 30 years: Between 2015 and 2050, ASEAN cities are projected to add 205 million new urban residents … Read more

The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization (International Resource Panel report with Sustainable Healthy Cities contributing authors)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

Over the next 30 years, an additional 2.4 billion people are likely to be added to the global urban population. This increase in population will result in a significant expansion … Read more

Circular Economies and Low Carbon Urban Infrastructure Planning

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

What is the unique role that urban infrastructure planning can play in national carbon mitigation? In this podcast, learn how cities are positioned to plan infrastructure systems using circular economy … Read more

All-city Carbon Emissions: Understanding City Types and Impact

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

It is common practice to consider the carbon emissions of single cities. But what happens when you analyze carbon emissions for all cities in a country using nationally aligned data? … Read more

Refine results by:

INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS

SOCIETAL OUTCOMES

PATHWAYS OF CHANGE