Abstract: A model estimates the short-run effect of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) charging on electricity costs, given a cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that covers only the electricity sector. In the short run, cap-and-trade systems that cover the electricity sector increase the marginal cost of electricity production. The magnitude of the increase in cost depends on several factors, including the stringency of the cap in relation to the demand for electricity. The use of PHEVs, which also has the potential to decrease net greenhouse gas emissions, would increase demand for electricity and thus would increase the upward pressure on marginal costs. The model described examines this effect for the New England electricity market, which as of January 2009 operates under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade system for CO2. The model uses linear optimization to dispatch power plants to minimize fuel costs given inelastic electric demand and constraints on nitrogen oxide and CO2 emissions. The model is used to estimate costs for three fleet penetration levels (1%, 5%, and 10%) and three charging scenarios (evening charging, nighttime charging, and twice-a-day charging). The results indicate that PHEV charging demand increases the marginal cost of CO2 emissions as well as the average and marginal fuel costs for electricity generation. At all penetration levels the cost increases were minimized in the nighttime-charging scenario.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).