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Images of particles made from a promising battery cathode material called NMC

Harmonizing Electricity Sector Greenhouse Gas Accounting in California

Precourt Institute for Energy

PI: John Weyant, Management Science and Engineering

Student: Gregory Von Wald and Amanda Zerbe


Project Summary

Integrating technical, economic and policy expertise, the researchers will assess the accounting of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation in California and the western United States. They will characterize and evaluate the overlapping and often inconsistent regulations across state and federal agencies. The work will focus on trade-offs between physical GHG accounting, which is the basis for most technical analyses, and contractual accounting, on which most markets and electricity procurement processes rely. These inconsistencies provide divergent economic incentives for building and dispatching zero-GHG generation resources on a regional scale and pose a key barrier to continued progress toward deeper decarbonization.


1. Von Wald, G., Mastrandrea, M.D., Cullenward, D., Weyant, J. Analyzing California’s framework for estimating greenhouse gas emissions associatedwith retail electricity sales. The Electricity Journal. (Accepted for publication in October)

2. Von Wald, G., Cullenward, D., Mastrandrea M.D., Weyant, J. 2021. Accounting for the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of electricity imports to California. Environ. Sci. Technol, 55, 10, 6571–6579