Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Rooftop PV impacts on fossil fuel electricity generation and carbon dioxide emissions in the pacific northwest
by Weiland, Daniel Albert, M.U.S., Portland State University, 2013, 98; 1547603
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis estimates the impacts of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) capacity on electricity generation and CO2 emissions in America's Pacific Northwest. The region's demand for electricity is increasing at the same time that it is attempting to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The electricity generated by rooftop PV capacity is expected to displace electricity from fossil fueled electricity generators and reduce CO2 emissions, but when and how much? And how can this region maximize and focus the impacts of additional rooftop PV capacity on CO2 emissions? To answer these questions, an hourly urban rooftop PV generation profile for 2009 was created from estimates of regional rooftop PV capacity and solar resource data. That profile was compared with the region's hourly fossil fuel generation profile for 2009 to determine how much urban rooftop PV generation reduced annual fossil fuel electricity generation and CO2 emissions. Those reductions were then projected for a range of additional multiples of rooftop PV capacity. The conclusions indicate that additional rooftop PV capacity in the region primarily displaces electricity from natural gas generators, and shows that the timing of rooftop PV generation corresponds with the use of fossil fuel generators. Each additional Wp/ capita of rooftop PV capacity reduces CO2 emissions by 9,600 to 7,300 tons/ year. The final discussion proposes some methods to maximize and focus rooftop PV impacts on CO2 emissions, and also suggests some questions for further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lutzenhiser, Loren
Commitee: Strathman, Jim, Woods, Jamie
School: Portland State University
Department: Urban Studies
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Natural Resource Management
Keywords: Climate change, Fossil fuels, Pacific northwest, Photovoltaics, Regional, Solar
Publication Number: 1547603
ISBN: 978-1-303-49594-6
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