coupling community knowledge with big data tools to facilitate equitable energy transitions

Research Project | 2018

Using Big Data to Holistically Assess Benefits from Building Energy System Transition Pathways in Disadvantaged Communities

This project will use big data to determine which buildings and urban energy system transitions are likely to affect the exposure of Californians to various health risks associated with the combustion of natural gas. As California moves forward with its aggressive agenda to decarbonize its energy system, care must be taken to assess the degree to which its pursuit of various energy system transformation pathways is likely to result in additional benefits for Californians. One extremely important category of benefits is the reduction of health risks that result from exposure to natural gas combustion by-products, both from appliances within homes and from grid scale generation stations. There is no study that currently assesses these benefits at a local scale as they relate to various building energy system decarbonization pathways.

Along with Michael Jerrett of the UCLA School of Public Health, CCSC staff will use big data to quantify the extent to which various decarbonization pathways are likely to modify the shape of a real world disadvantaged community’s hourly electricity and natural gas load profiles. These load curve changes will then be propagated into indoor and ambient air quality impacts through a set of impact factors that will be customized to the specific community’s local context through an integrated community outreach and measurement program.

Issuing entity: California Energy Commission
Project Start Date: 2018