Back to top

TSRC’s Delucchi earns Cozzarelli Prize

Transportation Sustainability Research Center Research Scientist Mark Delucchi recently earned the the Cozzarelli Prize, bestowed by the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The  paper, "Low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes," written by Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A. Delucchi, Mary A. Cameron, and Bethany A. Frew, is one of six papers published by PNAS in 2015 selected for the prize.
“This work shows that an energy system based entirely on wind, water and solar power – a system that provides the greatest possible environmental benefits – can meet all energy needs reliably and at reasonable cost,” says Delucchi.
The Cozzarelli Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Papers were chosen from the more than 3,000 research articles that appeared in the journal last year and represent the six broadly defined classes under which the NAS is organized. Delucchi’s paper was recognized under Class VI (Applied Biological, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences).
The paper addresses the greatest concern facing the large-scale integration of wind, water, and solar (WWS) into a power grid: the high cost of avoiding load loss caused by WWS variability and uncertainty. It uses a new grid integration model and finds low-cost, no-load-loss, non-unique solutions to this problem on electrification of all US energy sectors (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) while accounting for wind and solar time series data from a 3D global weather model that simulates extreme events and competition among wind turbines for available kinetic energy.
Further, the paper explores solutions obtained by prioritizing storage for heat (in soil and water); cold (in ice and water); and electricity (in phase-change materials, pumped hydro, hydropower, and hydrogen), and using demand response. No natural gas, biofuels, nuclear power, or stationary batteries are needed. The resulting 2050–2055 US electricity social cost for a full system is much less than for fossil fuels. These results hold for many conditions, suggesting that low-cost, reliable 100% WWS systems should work many places worldwide.
The annual Cozzarelli Prize acknowledges papers that reflect scientific excellence and originality. The award was established in 2005 as the Paper of the Year Prize and was renamed in 2007 to honor late PNAS Editor-in-Chief Nicholas R. Cozzarelli. The 2015 awards will be presented at the PNAS Editorial Board meeting, and awardees will be recognized at an awards ceremony, during the NAS Annual Meeting on May 1, 2016, in Washington, DC. Read the paper here.