New Energy: Conversations with Early-Career Energy Researchers

All events are held on Zoom

Dates and Speakers at a Glance

September 29: Daniel Møller Sneum, Post-doctoral researcher, Technical University of Denmark, "Flexible and Integrated Energy Systems — Finding and Addressing the Barriers" [register]
October 13: Danae Hernández-Cortés, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University; "Do Environmental Markets Cause Environmental Injustice? Evidence from California's Carbon Market" [register]
October 27: Paige Weber, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina; "Equity Impacts of Markets for Clean Air"
November 10: Liz Allen, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Northeastern University
February 16, 2022: Dominic Bednar, Arizona State University
March 30, 2022: Ines Azevedo, Associate Professor, Stanford University

Talk titles and speaker bios are posted below as they become available. 

September 29: Daniel Møller Sneum, Post-doctoral Researcher, Technical University of Denmark,

"Flexible and Integrated Energy Systems — Finding and Addressing the Barriers"



Daniel Møller Sneum
Daniel Møller Sneum

Efficient and sustainable energy systems can be achieved through sector coupling/smart energy/integrated energy systems — all buzz-terms with the same point: Electrifying everything is good; also bridging to other sectors is better.
Integration or not, flexibility of energy systems is a necessary attribute. But what if it isn't there?

Combining flexibility and integrated energy systems, Dr. Møller Sneum asks — and answers "What hinders flexibility in the interface between decentralized energy and the electricity system?"

With district energy (a highly efficient way to heat and cool many buildings in a given locale from a central plant) as the case in point, his study

  • defines flexible sector coupling in the interface between district energy and the electricity system
  • provides a taxonomy – a useful checklist for policymakers driving increased flexibility in integrated energy systems
  • indicates areas of priority for technologies, decision-levels and project life cycles when addressing barriers.

While district energy is the case in point, most findings apply for all decentralized energy systems/sector coupling/integrated- and smart energy systems.

The presentation is based on the results of the scientific article "Barriers to flexibility in the district energy-electricity system interface – A taxonomy" and is part of the European FlexSUS-project.

About Dr. Møller Sneum
Daniel Møller Sneum is a former analyst in at the Internation Energy Agency, Green Energy, and PlanEnergi. His PhD is from Technical University of Denmark where he is currently a postdoc. His focus is on regulation and economics of integration across energy sectors. His research includes analyses of flexibility and regulation of district energy in the Nordic countries, the Baltics, and the US.


October 13: Danae Hernández-Cortés, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

"Do Environmental Markets Cause Environmental Injustice? Evidence from California's Carbon Market"



Danae Hernández-Cortés
Danae Hernández-Cortés

Market-based environmental policies are widely adopted on the basis of allocative efficiency. However, there is growing concern that market-induced spatial reallocation of pollution could widen existing pollution concentration gaps between disadvantaged and other communities. We estimate how this "environmental justice gap" changed following the 2013 introduction of California's carbon market, the world's second largest and the one most subjected to environmental justice critiques. Embedding a pollution dispersal model within a program evaluation framework, we find that while EJ gaps across criteria air pollutants were widening prior to 2013, they have since fallen as a consequence of the carbon market.

About the Dr. Hernández-Cortés
Danae Hernández-Cortés is an Assistant Professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2021. Dr, Hernández-Cortés' research analyzes some of the sources of environmental inequality and the distributional consequences of environmental policy. She has done research on climate policy, energy transitions, air pollution, and climate change in Mexico and the United States and her research has received national press coverage from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.



October 27: Paige Weber, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina


Paige Weber
Paige Webber

"Equity Impacts of Markets for Clean Air"

This paper studies which communities benefit from several federal markets for clean air instituted by the EPA's NOx Budget Program and the Clean Air Interstate Rule. We find that the markets lead to larger emission reductions among power plants located in predominantly white counties. However, due to air pollution transport and the spatial distribution of populations, we find larger reductions in total economic damages from air pollution in predominantly non-white counties. Both of these effects are driven by the spatial distribution of coal capacity. We demonstrate that the pre-existing distribution of firms and technology and atmospheric air pollution transport patterns are the key drivers of heterogeneous impacts across communities.

About the Dr. Weber
Paige Weber uses methods in applied microeconomics and industrial organization to answer research questions in energy and the environment. Her research studies energy and electricity markets, climate change policy, urban economics, distributional impacts of environmental policy, and industry responses to environmental regulation. She is also interested in transportation demand, urban form, and energy efficiency in urban centers. ​

Dr. Weber is currently an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with an adjunct appointment in the Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program. She received my Ph.D. in Environmental Economics from Yale University in 2019. I also earned a M.ESc. and a M.Phil. in Environmental Economics from Yale, and a B.A. in Political Economy of Industrialized Societies and Music from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining UNC at Chapel Hill, Dr. Webber was a postdoctoral scholar in the Environmental Market Solutions Lab (emLab) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has professional experiences in the electricity industry, federal government, and non-governmental research organizations, all of which inform and motivate her research agenda.



About the Series

New Energy: Conversations with Early-Career Energy Researchers is a new online series featuring graduate, post-doctoral, and other early-career researchers sharing their discoveries and perspectives on energy-related topics. From policy to analysis to emerging research, this bi-weekly series will give anyone interested in energy the opportunity to learn from the rising stars in the field. 

This series is a collaborative effort between professors at Dartmouth College's Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society and the following colleges and universities:

Arizona State University

Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy

Carnegie Mellon University's Wilton Scott Institute
for Energy Innovation

Cornell University

Columbia University

Duke University's Nicholas Institute for 
Environmental Policy Solutions

ETH Zurich

Indiana University's Paul H. O'Neill School of
Public and Environmental Affairs

Northeastern University

Penn State University

Princeton University's Andlinger Center
for Energy and the Environment

Stanford University

Technical University of Denmark

Tufts University's Center for Environmental and Resource Policy

University of Cambridge

University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Environment

View past talks here. 

Contact the Irving Institute