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Cutting carbon emissions on the US power grid

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on MIT News or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: An innovative online model created by the MIT Energy Initiative enables analysis of the most cost-effective strategies for decarbonizing specific regional grids across the United States, considering their unique energy resources and demand profiles.

🔭 The context: Decarbonizing the U.S. power grid is vital for combating climate change, but the challenge varies by region due to differences in renewable energy availability and demand patterns
• The model, known as Ideal Grid (IG), allows for detailed, region-specific planning to achieve lower carbon emissions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Electrification of various sectors aims to reduce carbon emissions, but without a decarbonized power grid, this could merely shift emissions from one source to another
• The model highlights the importance of regional strategies and life-cycle emissions accounting in the transition to renewable energy sources

⏭️ What's next: The findings underscore the variability in decarbonization strategies across different regions, with some requiring significant energy storage and others relying more on nuclear power
• The model points to a tailored approach, incorporating regional resources and demand patterns, as essential for efficient decarbonization

💬 One quote: "With this modeling capability you can understand regional resources and patterns of demand, and use them to do a ‘bespoke’ analysis of the least-cost approach to decarbonizing the grid in your particular region," says Emre Gençer, a principal research scientist at MITEI.

📈 One stat: The availability of wind and solar resources varies significantly across the U.S., with annual capacity factors for solar power ranging between 20 and 30 percent, and for wind between 25 and 45 percent.

Click for more news covering the latest on Carbon Removal

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