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Science. 2018 Jun 29;360(6396). pii: eaas9793. doi: 10.1126/science.aas9793.

Net-zero emissions energy systems.

Author information

1
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA. sjdavis@uci.edu nslewis@caltech.edu kcaldeira@carnegiescience.edu.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.
3
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA. sjdavis@uci.edu nslewis@caltech.edu kcaldeira@carnegiescience.edu.
4
Near Zero, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA, USA.
5
Energy Innovation, San Francisco, CA, USA.
6
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA.
7
Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, Golden, CO, USA.
8
Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
9
Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
10
Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
11
Department of Energy Resource Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
12
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.
13
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.
14
Advanced Power and Energy Program, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.
15
Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
16
Vibrant Clean Energy, Boulder, CO, USA.
17
Clean Air Task Force, Boston, MA, USA.
18
Rocky Mountain Institute, Boulder, CO, USA.
19
Pacific National Northwestern Laboratory, College Park, MD, USA.
20
Department of Chemical Engineering, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK.
21
Joint Bioenergy Institute, 5885 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA, USA.
22
Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
23
Holy Cross Energy, Glenwood Springs, CO, USA.
24
Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA.
25
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, USA.
26
Department of Physics, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
27
Lucid Strategy, Cambridge, MA, USA.
28
The Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
29
Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
30
Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
31
Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.
32
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA, USA.
33
Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
34
Department of Sustainability and Energy Management, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
35
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
36
Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM, USA.
37
Independent researcher.
38
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA, USA. sjdavis@uci.edu nslewis@caltech.edu kcaldeira@carnegiescience.edu.

Abstract

Some energy services and industrial processes-such as long-distance freight transport, air travel, highly reliable electricity, and steel and cement manufacturing-are particularly difficult to provide without adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Rapidly growing demand for these services, combined with long lead times for technology development and long lifetimes of energy infrastructure, make decarbonization of these services both essential and urgent. We examine barriers and opportunities associated with these difficult-to-decarbonize services and processes, including possible technological solutions and research and development priorities. A range of existing technologies could meet future demands for these services and processes without net addition of CO2 to the atmosphere, but their use may depend on a combination of cost reductions via research and innovation, as well as coordinated deployment and integration of operations across currently discrete energy industries.

PMID:
29954954
DOI:
10.1126/science.aas9793
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