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May 4 Webinar Discusses Spatiotemporal Considerations in Energy Decisions

Energy-related projects are developed in evolving natural and political environments, and their impacts and economics are neither fixed in time nor distributed evenly in space. Energy and environmental research has often focused on snapshots of particular regions, as many evaluation tools do not consider spatiotemporal factors. The gap in understanding such factors poses a significant challenge for those evaluating energy decisions. For example, the water-energy nexus becomes increasingly significant for decision support when local resources are scarce, yet technology assessments typically do not consider spatiotemporal variability across regions. The costs associated with environmental mitigation can and often do differ by region as well as over time. Climate-related policies are developed according to a region's political influences even as greenhouse gas emissions vary geographically according to several factors, such as available resources, the technology in use, the vintage of the existing infrastructure, and local climate. Related challenges involve comparing the land use of energy technologies when impacts are locally dependent and comparing spatial requirements of renewable and non-renewable projects over time. In this webinar, we will discuss a suite of emerging approaches covering climate, water, and land with the goal of overcoming some of these challenges.


Dr. Sarah Marie Jordaan is an Assistant Professor of Energy Policy and Politics at the University of Calgary. She has over a decade of experience researching energy and the environment with award winning publications on climate policy and the water implications of energy technologies. Her foundations in government and public policy were strengthened at Harvard University with the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Kennedy School of Government and she gained greater insight into climate science at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. She has held positions with the Electric Power Research Institute, the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego, and the Ocean Sciences Center at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She earned her Ph.D. in 2010 at the University of Calgary in Environmental Design at the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Economy, and Environment. Her Bachelor's degree is in Physics with a minor in Computer Science from Memorial University.