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Jesse Jenkins


Wednesday December 2, 2020, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm  On Zoom.


Clean electricity: the linchpin in a net-zero economy



The electricity sector is the linchpin in any successful transition to a net-zero emissions economy. Getting the United States to net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner entails twin challenges for the electricity sector. First, the electricity sector must reduce emissions faster and further than any other sector. Second, electricity generation must simultaneously expand to fuel a wider range of end-use activities currently dependent on fossil fuels. Professor Jenkins will focus on the central role of electricity in the deep decarbonization of the U.S. economy and the challenges of building a 100% carbon-free electricity system, including the complementary roles of variable renewable energy, firm low-carbon resources, and energy storage technologies.



Jesse Jenkins is an assistant professor at Princeton University with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment. He is a macro-scale energy systems engineer and leads the Princeton ZERO Lab (Zero-carbon Energy systems Research and Optimization Laboratory), which focuses on improving and applying optimization-based energy systems models to evaluate low-carbon energy technologies and generate insights to guide policy and planning decisions in national and sub-national jurisdictions transitioning to net-zero emissions energy systems. Jesse earned a Ph.D. and SM from MIT, worked previously as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and spent six years as an energy and climate policy analyst prior to embarking on his academic career.