Climate-Energy Nexus & Sustainability Management

The Climate-Energy Nexus & Sustainability Management

Climate change poses significant threats to the electricity sector, through policy and through impact, and these impacts are projected to grow in the coming decades. At the same time, utilities are under significant pressure to develop sustainable and cost-effective adaptation strategies to respond to current and future climate risks. Meanwhile, the Paris Agreement on climate change shifted decisions on the management of energy and material resources locally, empowering metropolitan regions and cities as new hubs of sustainable urban transformation. Equally, as part of the post-2015 United Nations sustainable development agenda, governments committed to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” by 2030. In this polycentric regime, cities have become critical innovation hubs for implementing policy, investment, and sustainability decisions because of their sheer size and complexity.

The objectives of this research thrust are twofold:

  1. Investigate adaptation strategies in which deployment of smart grid technologies accompanied by a hardening of electricity infrastructure take the lead in formulating climate resilience policy. Designing solutions that integrate a smart grid policy framework is especially interspersing to this objective as it is vital to addressing observed climate trends and future climate projections. A collaborative process for disseminating data and knowledge of climate destabilization on the energy sector, with utilities, utility regulators, and state and federal governments, is also critical to the assessment process. Incorporating the impacts of climate change in future planning and operational designs of the electricity sector is also essential because cost-effective and sustainable adaptation strategies depend on an informed impact assessment and cooperation among key stakeholders.
  2. Assess how polycentric frameworks that use people-centric and common sustainability indicator approaches can inform urban policy, performance measurement, and planning. The benefit of a common indicator approach is fivefold: (a) applies a stakeholder-driven approach, (b) prioritizes consensus-based process, (c) identifies gaps and prioritizes the next steps, (d) catalyzes local action, and (e) capitalizes on existing opportunities. Social equity, economic progress, and environmental integrity are important goals of urban sustainability.
Selected Relevant Research Outputs

      • Technical Report: Byrne, J., Nyangon, J., Deblauwe, H., Oster, C., Shin, S., Xu, J., Taminiau, J., & Chajes, M. (2017). Measuring Urban Sustainability Through Common Indicators and Peer City Benchmarking: Assessing Sustainability Assets for Performance Improvement and Economic and Environmental Progress in Delaware. Newark, DE [SSRN Online Journal].

      • Book Chapter: Nyangon, J., Alabbas, N., & Agbemabiese, L. (2017). Entangled Systems at the Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities. In P. Rao, & Y. Patil (Eds.), Reconsidering the impact of climate change on global water supply, use, and management (pp. 145-165). United States: IGI Global. [Download]

      • Technical Report: (2012). Building the First Sustainability Rating System for Local Governments [Download].

      • Technical Report: (2011). S 4178 New York Solar Development and Jobs Act of 2011 — A Political Analysis [Download].

    • Technical Report: (2011). S 4178 New York Solar Development and Jobs Act of 2011 — An Environmental Analysis [Download].
 

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