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Advancing a Just Transition across the United States through Coordinated Deployment of Electric Power and Hydrogen Infrastructure

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
May 5, 2023

While it is imperative to cost-effectively decarbonize energy systems to address climate change, the future least-cost decarbonized energy systems will unevenly distribute the economic and social benefits and costs at sub-national levels. Achieving a just transition requires accounting for the distribution of costs and benefits across space, time, and populations. Current literature has examined a wide range of decarbonization pathways that allow for planning for near cost-optimal power systems in exchange for more equal regional outcomes. This literature, however, focuses exclusively on the power system, so ignores hydrogen, a crucial part of decarbonizing power, industry, and transport sectors. Hydrogen production, consumption, and transportation infrastructure deployment, when coordinated with decarbonized power system investments, could enable more equitable distribution of costs and benefits. In this study, we develop a framework that allows for exploration of the regional distribution of social, economic, and environmental outcomes of cost-optimal versus near cost-optimal power and hydrogen decarbonization pathways. Our framework applies Modeling to Generate Alternatives (MGA) to a macro-scale optimization-based power and hydrogen planning model. We apply this framework to the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council to identify pathways that yield more just transition of energy systems at regional (sub-state) level. Findings from our study will highlight the importance of co-planning for multiple energy sectors in reaching decarbonized energy systems, as well as help inform policymakers of different decarbonization options to achieve different regionally equal energy systems.

Research Areas
Energy Systems
Publication Type
Conference Proceeding
Full Citation

Pham, An, Michael Criag. "Advancing a Just Transition across the United States through Coordinated Deployment of Electric Power and Hydrogen Infrastructure." IISE Annual Conference and Expo 2023. CSS23-41