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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

ERE Seminar: Steven Davis, PhD (UC Irvine) - Unit-level analyses of the power sector

November 2, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Virtual Meeting via Zoom (see login details in Description)
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Energy Resources Engineering
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Steven Davis, PhD | University of California, Irvine

TITLE:Unit-level analyses of the power sector

ABSTRACTStudies of energy system trajectories typically rely on recent trends and model scenarios. Unit-level datasets of the power sector (i.e. plant- or generator-specific) enable complementary, bottom-up and forward-looking analyses. Moreover, such detailed data can help prioritize opportunities to reduce emissions and water use. Prof. Davis will share the results of several such unit-level analyses, covering "committed” CO2 emissions globally and in the U.S., power plant retirements embedded in modeled mitigation scenarios, as well as global, unit-level estimates of criteria pollutant emissions and water use. 


  • Tong, D. et al. Targeted emission reductions from global super-polluting power plant units. Nature Sustainability 1, 59-68 (2018).
  • Qin, Y. et al. Flexibility and intensity of global water use. Nature Sustainability 2, 515-523 (2019).
  • Tong, D. et al. Committed emissions from existing energy infrastructure jeopardize 1.5 °C climate target. Nature 572, 373-377, doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1364-3 (2019).
  • Fofrich, R. A. et al. Early retirement of power plants in climate mitigation scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab96d3 (2020).
  • Shearer, C., Tong, D., Fofrich, R. & Davis, S. J. Committed Emissions of the U.S. Power Sector, 2000–2018. AGU Advances 1, e2020AV000162, doi:10.1029/2020AV000162 (2020).

BIOSteve Davis is a Professor of Earth System Science and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, where he researches global energy infrastructure, agricultural production, GHG emissions, and international trade.  He studied political philosophy at the University of Florida, earned a law degree at the University of Virginia, practiced corporate and securities law in Silicon Valley for a few years, then returned to do graduate work in isotope geochemistry and paleoclimate at Stanford University. Since 2009, his research has focused on the human dimensions of global environmental change, and in particular the distributional effects of international trade, carbon lock-in, and net-zero emissions energy systems.

*If you are a Stanford Affiliate outside the Energy Resources Engineering (ERE) department and would like to attend, please contact Emily Gwynn ( for the Zoom Meeting link and password.

**If you are in the Energy Resources Engineering (ERE) department, you will receive an announcement from Emily Gwynn ( with the Zoom Meeting link and password.

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