Electricity Modeling: Why It's Important for the Economy and Environment (and Fun As Well!)


                Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
                             The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Date: Friday, 4:30pm - 5:30pm, March 20, 2015

Title: Electricity Modeling: Why It's Important for the Economy and Environment (and Fun As Well!)

Speaker: Benjamin F. Hobbs, Director of Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute (Theodore K. and Kay W. Schad Professor of Environmental Management, Johns Hopkins University)

Electric power: done wrong, it drags the economy and environment down; done right, it could help to create a more efficient, brighter, and cleaner future.  Better policy, planning, and operations models--both simple analytical, and complex computational ones--are essential if we're going to do it right.  Better modeling is also fun, as the math of electricity models is inherently interesting and revealing --models often show flaws in our intuition. Used intelligently, models can point us towards better regulations, investments, and operating policies. I highlight two applications. Simple models are important for timely recommendations and insights for policy and market design; this is illustrated by an application to implementation of California's AB32 CO2 limits. Complex models are more relevant to investment and operations; a critical need is better transmission infrastructure planning under gross uncertainties including carbon policies, growth in demand and fuel prices, and location of renewable development. All models are wrong, but better models can help us avoid terrible investment and policy mistakes.


Benjamin F. Hobbs earned a Ph.D. (Environmental Systems Engineering) in 1983 from Cornell University. He holds Theodore M. and Kay W. Schad Chair of Environmental Management at the Johns Hopkins University, where he has been in the Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering since 1995. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and is founding director of the JHU Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute. Previously, he was at Brookhaven and Oak Ridge National Laboratories and a member of the Systems Engineering and Civil Engineering faculty at Case Western Reserve University.


Everyone is welcome to attend the talk!

Venue: Room 513,
      William M.W. Mong Engineering Building (ERB),
      (Engineering Building Complex Phase 2)
      The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The talk will be hosted by:
Prof. Duan Li,
Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,

SEEM-5202 Website:

Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 20:30 to 21:30