EAEI Seminar: Scenarios of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction potential in the buildings

EAEI Seminar: Scenarios of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction potential in the buildings

Seminar Abstract 

Integrated Energy Modeling has been commonly used to assess a global or national energy future, and was the basis for most scenarios evaluated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The economic-based top-down modeling approach it employs typically showed growth in energy because of the strong linkage between energy and GDP and the assumption of continued GDP growth. However, this model has shown limitations because it lacks detail on sector and end use technology levels and thus was inadequate for providing advice to policy makers regarding the application of specific policies. In 2004 we began developing a bottom-up energy demand model for China. This model includes detailed information on end use technologies (the model is now called Demand Resource Energy Analysis Model (DREAM)), with the goal of developing a physical-based modeling methodology to explain the key drivers and parameters of technology choices, energy intensity, energy use, and energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the end use level (e.g. in buildings, manufacturing, and transportation). Following continuous refinement of this methodology, data and understanding of technology advancement our analysis, revealed, for the first time, the surprising discovery that China’s energy use would plateau around 2030. This result contrasted with results of many other prestigious institutions including the International Energy Agency, McKinsey, ExxonMobil, Shell, the Energy Research Institute of China, and Tsinghua University, which all showed continued growth in China’s energy use and associated emissions to 2050.

In particular, we conducted extensive research and end-use modeling of building technologies and usage trends to understand future pathways for China’s built environment, which were based on a decade of collaborative research on building energy efficiency with China. We focused on China’s building sectors by incorporating the latest calibrated data and hundreds of representative building technologies at the end-use level and integrated both macroeconomic and physical drivers for energy-related activity in a transparent manner. Our article shows that cost-effective efficiency technologies and systems brought to market by aggressive policies (including deep and broad education of professionals) can lead to energy futures for China’s built environment with usage not greatly higher than and CO2 emissions substantially lower than today’s levels. The result was published on Nature Energy 2018.

This talk provides technical details, modeling approach, results, and applications of the model with a zoom in on the Nature Energy paper.

Seminar Speaker(s) 

Nan Zhou
Energy/Environmental Policy Senior Scientist/Engineer, China Energy, International Energy Analysis Department, Energy Analysis & Environmental Impacts Division

Dr. Nan Zhou is a Senior Scientist, Head of the International Energy Analysis Department, and Lead of the China Research Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Zhou is also the U.S. Director of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center-Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE), a 10-year presidential level research-based consortium of U.S. and Chinese scientists and private companies. Dr. Zhou is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC)’s forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report. Dr. Zhou serves on the Advisory Board of the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC) and the APEC Sustainable Energy Center. Dr. Zhou is the Co-Chair of the Academic Advisory Committee of the California-China Climate Institute (AAC of CCCI). She was appointed to the Applied Energy Editorial Board in 2017, served as the Co-Chair of the 2016 Buildings Summer Study of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and has been a Committee Member of the China Green Building Council since 2015. 

Dr. Zhou received the Outstanding Research and Contribution Prize for her 2019 publication in Applied Energy entitled “A roadmap for China to peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve a 20% share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy by 2030”, led the Berkeley Lab team that received the 2017 R&D100 Award for the BEST City tool, and was a finalist for the 2016 C3E Awards for mid-career women’s leadership and achievement. She also received the National Excellent Young Scholar Award by the Architectural Institute of Japan.

Dr. Zhou’s expertise includes energy and emissions modeling, the energy efficiency of buildings and appliances, and low carbon city development. Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, she was an assistant professor at two universities in Japan for four years. 


Jan 22, 2020 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm