Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Oil Substitutes: Dynamics, Resources and Systems Behavior
Adam R. Brandt
Department of Energy Resources Engineering, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford UniversityThere are numerous reasons to favor a shift to substitutes for conventional oil such as biofuels or electricity. However, a transition to oil substitutes poses economic, environmental, and political risks. These risks are complex and intertwined. In particular, the problems of oil substitution and greenhouse gas emissions are unavoidably linked. Any shortfall in conventional oil will induce the increased production of oil substitutes such as unconventional hydrocarbons or biofuels, which have different climate impact per unit of fuel produced. It would be very helpful to have tools to guide our decisions during this transition. In this talk, Adam Brandt will describe hisefforts to build such a tool, by modeling the transition to oil substitutes using a large-scale mathematical model of future transportation fuel production. In particular, Brandt will emphasize the uncertainties inherent in such modeling efforts and describe how models might help us despite these uncertainties.