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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

ERE Seminar: Jesse Jenkins (Princeton) | "Guiding Innovation: Using optimization methods to..."

May 10, 2021 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
Virtual Meeting via Zoom (see login details in Description)
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Energy Resources Engineering
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NAMEJesse Jenkins | Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University

TITLE"Guiding Innovation: Using optimization methods to evaluate the design-space for novel low-carbon technologies"

ABSTRACTDevelopment & commercialization of novel energy technologies takes time. New technologies will enter evolving future electricity systems and compete with a range of extant resources, introducing considerable uncertainty for developers, researchers, and funders. Given limited resources, which avenues for cost or performance improvement are most important for future commercial success and societal impact? This presentation will discuss how optimization models of long-term electricity system capacity expansion and wide-scale parametric uncertainty analysis can be employed to evaluate the “technology design space” for novel low-carbon technologies and provide insights to guide R&D efforts and funding and policy decisions. Results from a recent evaluation of long duration energy storage will be presented. Extensions of this general approach to evaluate design choices for flexible carbon capture, geothermal energy systems, and fusion power plants will also be described.

REFERENCESSepulveda et al. 2021, "The design space for long-duration energy storage in decarbonized power systems," Nature Energy, PDF here. 1-page synthesis here.

BIOJesse 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 and courtesy appointments at the School of Public and International Affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute. He is a macro-scale energy systems engineer with a focus on the rapidly evolving electricity sector, including the transition to zero-carbon resources, the proliferation of distributed energy resources, and the role of electricity in economy-wide decarbonization. Jesse 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 PhD 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.

*For Stanford Affiliates outside of Energy Resources Engineering, please contact Emily Gwynn ( for the Zoom login info.

**For those in the Energy Resources Engineering, you will receive an announcement from Emily Gwynn ( with the Zoom login info.

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