Podcast: Distinguished Lecture Series 2017 - Professor Sally Benson

Listen to the podcast from the 2017 Distinguished Lecture given by Professor Sally Benson on the role of energy systems analysis in making good energy choices.

Driven by concerns about global warming, air pollution, and energy security, the world is beginning a century-long transition to a decarbonized energy system. Building blocks for decarbonization include dramatic efficiency improvements, renewable energy, electrification, nuclear power, natural gas as a substitute for coal, and carbon capture and storage. Given the long-term nature of the energy transition, the question becomes, how do we make good energy choices? Energy systems analysis can augment economic analysis and by proving additional perspectives for answering questions such as:

  • Is storing renewable energy in batteries a good idea and which batteries are best?
  • How fast can the PV industry grow before it consumes more energy than it produces?
  • What’s better, a battery electric vehicle or a fuel cell vehicle?
  • For new technologies, what aspects need to improve the most: efficiency, lifetime, materials, or cost?

In this talk, Professor Sally Benson provides examples of the important role energy systems analysis plays in revealing good energy choices. Professor Benson visited Australia as the 2017 Distinguished Lecturer under the auspices of the University of Melbourne Peter Cook Centre for CCS Research and the Minerals Council of Australia.

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Caitlin McGrane


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