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What Does it Take to Get 100% Renewables?, presented by Dr. Debra Lew as part of the Materials Science and Engineering Colloquium Series
Friday, Mar 2
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Location: RL 3.204

ABSTRACT: Many cities, states and regions have or are considering goals of 100% renewables. There are many ways to define 100% renewable energy and while I will discuss them, that debate is not the goal of this presentation. Instead, I will focus on the challenges inherent in the various aspects of planning and operating a power system with 100% renewables:

•What kind of resource portfolio do you need? Do you need seasonal storage? 

•Do we need to build more transmission?

•What happens to energy markets when the marginal cost of energy is zero?

•How can energy systems integration (electric vehicles, electric heating, etc) help?

•How do we maintain system reliability when the grid has no inertia?

•How can energy demand help?

•What role do distributed energy resources play?

We have successfully managed relatively high penetrations of renewables thus far by continuing to push the envelope in each area. But getting to 100% renewables may require a paradigm shift, new research, and a lot of innovation.

BIO: Debbie has been a Technical Director at GE Energy Consulting since 2015, focusing on utility integration of wind, solar and distributed energy resources. Previously, she worked 16 years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where she initiated and led the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study which examined impacts of high penetrations of wind and solar in the Western Interconnection. In 2009-2010, she was seconded to the Hawaiian Electric Company to work on integrating high levels of wind and solar in Hawaii. She is the Chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power and Energy Society’s Wind and Solar Power Coordinating Committee and Chair of the Distributed Energy Working Group for the Energy Systems Integration Group. She has a BS in EE and Physics from MIT and a PhD from Stanford in Applied Physics.

Contact Info:
Jennifer Alsbury, 972-883-5754
Questions? Email me.

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