[UTES] Navigating the Energy Transition Through a New Decision Framework SESAME

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Bio: Dr. Emre Gençer is a research scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI). The central theme of his research is to identify optimal utilization of resources for the evolving energy system facing the dual challenge of increasing demand while profoundly reducing its environmental footprint. His research focuses on integration of emerging and conventional energy technologies, their policy implications, multi-scale modeling, and optimization. He is leading the Energy Systems Modeling group at MITEI and is the principal investigator of various ongoing projects at MIT including Understanding Carbon Mitigation Technologies, Analysis of Options towards Fully Decarbonized EU by 2050, and Exploring Power and Transport sector Decarbonization Pathways via Direct and Indirect use of Electricity. He is the lead developer and chief architect of a novel software platform called Sustainable Energy Systems Analysis Modeling Environment (SESAME), which provides comprehensive cost and sustainability assessment for the converging electric power, transportation, and industrial sectors to decision makers and technology analysts with high technological, temporal and geospatial resolutions.

Dr. Gençer has published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals including Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences and Nature Scientific Reports, Applied Energy and Energy Policy. Dr. Gençer’s work on developing sustainable energy system concepts such as Hydricity (Hydrogen and Electricity) and SUFEWS (Solar Unbundling of Food, Energy and Water Systems) have been covered by leading technology news networks. His modeling tools and analysis have significantly contributed to EFI’s Optionality, Flexibility & Innovation: Pathways for Deep Decarbonization in California study, MITEI’s Mobility of the Future and Future of Energy Storage Studies.

Dr. Gençer received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and B.Sc. in Mathematics from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Abstract: One of the global community’s most significant contemporary challenges is the need to satisfy growing energy demand while simultaneously achieving very significant reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, delivery, and consumption of this energy. The energy sector is transforming via the convergence of power, transportation, and industrial sectors and inter-sectoral integration. To assess the level of decarbonization achieved through this change, one needs to study the carbon footprint of the energy system as a whole.

This seminar presents a novel, system-scale energy analysis tool, the Sustainable Energy System Analysis Modelling Environment (SESAME), to assess the system-level GHG emissions of today’s changing energy system. The underlying analytic tool constitutes more than a thousand individual energy pathways. SESAME, provides a consistent platform to estimate life cycle GHG emissions of all stages of the energy sector. Furthermore, the system representation is embedded into the tool for power and transportation sectors. The implications of energy choices for example scenarios (vehicle fleet projections for U.S. and generator-level hourly power generation) are presented to demonstrate SESAME’s high-resolution analysis capabilities. Impact of operational variations such as partial loading of power generation units and technology choices, such as treatment of the same crude oil in different refinery configurations, is explored.

This talk underlines the importance of system-wide environmental decision making, rather than focusing on individual technologies/solutions that can work in a constrained selection of settings. The presented approach and the developed tool are especially timely and important in the current global context of national, sub-national, and firm-based commitments towards deep decarbonization.


Date and Time
Sept. 21, 2021, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Event tags
UT Energy Symposium