Energy Cluster Jan 2011 Abstracts

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

ESIP Winter Meeting 2011 (Washington, DC) January 4-6, 2011

Energy Requirements for Military Installations

Harold Sanborn, US Army Corp of Engineers HQ, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) / Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL)

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) supports military operations and military/civilian communities around the world. It’s military and civil works programs are responsive to meet energy and water sustainability goals, under laws, executive orders and community standards. USACE applies rigorous systems engineering principles and design criteria for it and its many federal customers as the means to meet challenging energy, sustainability and dynamic cost impacts associated with our military installations and forward operations. By taking the long view, USACE and its laboratories, Centers of Standardization, and the Acquisition professionals start with modeling and simulations, active and passive designs to obtain optimal energy conservation, energy management and behavior change and the integration of renewable energy production toward becoming NetZero. USACE is committed to leading the process, building the products, and revamping the human capital needed to mitigate both climate change and energy security demands in our shared and ever shrinking environment.

Developing Innovative Tools for Geospatial Analysis of Bioenergy

Alison Goss Eng, DOE Biomass Program

The Department of Energy's Biomass Program recognizes the critical need to balance environmental, social, and economic considerations when supporting the deployment and commercialization of bioenergy systems. To that end, we are identifying ways to optimize the biofuels supply chain-not just for economic gain-but for environmental performance. This work includes working with our stakeholders to develop geospatial analysis tools to conduct research, educate, and inform. We employ collaborative, cutting-edge R&D to advance feedstock and conversion technologies aimed at producing renewable liquid fuels for transportation. Our partnership with industry to launch integrated biorefinery projects is a crucial component of developing implementation tools and strategies to enhance the environmental benefits of bioenergy production at commercial scales. We are actively engaged in field trials, applied research, capacity building, and cross-cutting analysis focused at regional, national, and often global scales. These parts of our Program are captured within a novel initiative we have recently released-the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF). Through this system, we aim to capture the physical and socioeconomic components of a biomass-driven supply chain network that sustains the reliable generation and delivery of energy to the nation.

User Needs, Technology Transfer and Cross-agency Data-sharing

Shekar Rao, TechComm

The talk is premised on the belief that to address problems of alternative energy, water resources, climate change and sustainable economic development, we have to foster collaboration between our nation’s federal labs, research oriented universities, technology focused economic development entities, and the venture capital industry. The Center for Innovation, in partnership with DoD, recently launched TechComm, focused on building a new model for federal technology transfer, utilizing a network of affiliate partner universities, economic development organizations, corporations, and venture funds in a multi-state region. The talk gives an example of US Air Force's goal to use alternative energy sources instead of fossil fuels, the research that is being done in the Agricultural Research Service of USDA in Biofuels and what implications this may have for ESIP membership in the areas of Energy, Water Resources, Climate Change, Decision Support Systems and Knowledge Management.

Climate Service support to the Energy and Water sectors

Scott Hausman, NOAA National Climatic Data Center

NOAA has set as its number one goal the development of an informed society able to anticipate and respond to climate and its impacts. To achieve this goal, it has committed to the formation of a Climate Service that will coalesce NOAA’s climate assets into a single line office with the mission of improving our understanding and prediction of changes in climate and promoting a climate-resilient society. Much has been accomplished to establish a CS, including the completion of the Congressionally mandated National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) study, the development of a Vision and Strategic Framework to guide the formation of the CS, and the hiring of Regional Climate Service Directors (RCSDs) to strengthen existing regional and sector-based climate services. In particular, NOAA has had a long commitment to the water and energy sectors, providing climate services to monitor and manage drought, extreme flooding events and energy production.

Assessing the utility of Earth observation measurements informing energy sector applications

Richard Eckman, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Earth observations are increasingly used to inform decision making in the energy sector. This presentation explores the use of Earth observations in several topical areas: renewable energy resource assessment, energy load forecasting, and improved prediction of space weather impacts on power grid stability. The impacts of these measurements on enhancing the ability of decision support systems to inform energy management and policy is assessed.

NOAA/ GFDL Climate Modeling: Regional Climate Information

V. Ramaswamy, NOAA/ Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University

The modeling of climate and climate change has witnessed rapid strides over the past few years, especially with the IPCC Fourth Assessment (2007) and the US Global Change report (2009). Climate change over the recent decades is beginning to be better understood particularly in terms of the forcing by natural and human-influenced factors on the global-to-continental-scale surface temperatures. However, there is now an increased demand and a serious impetus for obtaining the characteristics of climate change on the sub-continental scales, such as regional-scale temperature, rainfall and sea-level rise which are closer in spatial resolution to societal relevance. Over the past few years, research has led to the development of higher spatial resolution models that represent increased realism, capture regional phenomena well, and are capable of representing climate variables with greater clarity. Accompanying the interest in high-resolution regional climate information is the need for better characterization of the impacts due to human influence and improved description and quantification of uncertainties. These are important prerequisites for the credible scientific understanding of climate change from past to present, and represent a key step for making reliable projections of future climates. We will discuss the NOAA/ GFDL modeling strategies for the IPCC Fifth Assessment (due in 2013), and the challenges addressed including the preparation and availability of datasets concerning the simulated climate change from the past to the present, and into the future based on scenarios.

Analysis and quantification of uncertainty for climate change decision aids for energy consumption in the southwestern US

Duane Apling, Glenn Higgins, Kremena Darmenova, Heather Kiley, Atmospheric Sciences and Engineering Department, Northrop Grumman Information Systems

Outputs from current generation General Circulation Models (GCMs) are being downscaled to produce primary adaptation products used to investigate the utility of such products for aiding end-user decisions on enduring energy infrastructure as well as short and long-term production and conservation policy alternatives. Effective decision support products carry representations of both objective and subjective uncertainty through to the end-user, allowing them to appropriately weigh climate change factors in with myriad other relevant elements of their decisions. To that end, our methodology compares GCMs and their corresponding downscales with relevant objective historical measurements, systematically evaluates these products with respect to common baseline datasets, and then applies statistical bias correction and uncertainty analysis to establish objective confidence intervals. These primary products are then used to drive empirical energy consumption models fitted to end-user supplied energy consumption records, and undergo additional data quality control and model parameter uncertainty analysis. Our results show a high degree of fit for natural gas consumption involved in facility heating, a lesser degree for electrical power consumption for both heating and cooling, and illustrate a climate-change signal from the European Center/Hamburg Model (ECHAM5) GCM constrained Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) runs for a parallel current period of 1999-2009, and a future period for 2029-2039; along with confidence bounds on monthly and cumulative annual changes base on these statistical analyses expressed as changes in millions of cubic feet of natural gas and megawatt-hours of electrical energy. Results indicate that our bias corrected energy products provide the necessary detailed output and uncertainty bounds required by public and private facility planners to support and develop their long term energy strategies.

Improving Short-Term Forecasting for Wind Energy: Overview of a Planned DOE/NOAA/Private-Industry Study

James Wilczak, W. Shaw, S. Calvert, S. Benjamin, M. Marquis, A. Stern, C. Finley, J. Freedman, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

Recent electrical grid integration studies have demonstrated that improved weather forecasts theoretically have the potential to save billions of dollars annually under a national 20% wind energy scenario. A planned 2011-2012 study will be described that combines DOE, NOAA, and private industry expertise to investigate whether improved atmospheric observations, assimilated into NOAA’s state-of-the-art High Resolution Rapid-Refresh (HRRR) weather forecast model, can improve short-term (0-6 h) wind forecasts and reduce the costs of wind energy. Networks of wind-profiling radars and Doppler sodars will be deployed for a one-year field campaign in two Great Plains locations: the upper Midwest, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, and a second area centered in west Texas. The observations will be augmented by tall tower and nacelle anemometer data provided by wind plant operators. Private-sector contributions will also include an analysis of the utility of ensemble forecasting for wind energy. The financial savings accrued from the improved forecasts will be evaluated by NREL and two electric grid operators, MISO and ERCOT.