The global energy system is undergoing a major transformation.

In response, researchers at MIT have developed SESAME, an online, open-source tool for evaluating the impacts of the global energy system.

The SESAME online beta is expected in mid-2020. Sign up to become a beta user:

The energy sector is transforming

One of the global community’s most significant contemporary challenges is the need to satisfy growing energy demand while simultaneously achieving very significant reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, delivery, and consumption of this energy.

The energy sector is transforming via the convergence of power, transportation, and industrial sectors and inter-sectoral integration. To assess the level of decarbonization achieved through this change, one needs to study the carbon footprint of the energy system as a whole.

A new tool for analysis

Sustainable Energy System Analysis Modelling Environment (SESAME) is a novel, system-scale energy analysis tool to assess the system-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of today’s changing energy system.

The underlying analytic tool constitutes more than a thousand individual energy pathways. SESAME, developed as a MATLAB application, provides a consistent platform to estimate life cycle GHG emissions of all stages of the energy sector. Furthermore, the system representation is embedded into the tool for power and transportation sectors.

A rapidly evolving system

In the midst of the rapidly evolving energy system, making informed decisions to properly shape this change requires understanding the system and associated trade-offs. All of the presented examples underline that GHG emissions are very sensitive to energy choices and a comprehensive systems-level analysis is essential for making informed decisions.

The SESAME platform is developed to address this pressing need and will continue to evolve to capture the emerging complexities.

Papers

(Under review) "Sustainable Energy System Analysis Modeling Environment: Analyzing Life Cycle Emissions of the Energy Transition."

Insights Into Future Mobility – A report from the Mobility of the Future study. MIT Energy Initiative, 2019.

"A Framework for Multi-level Life Cycle Analysis of the Energy System." Computer Aided Process Engineering, 2019.

"Modeling Impacts of Tracking on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Photovoltaic Power." Computer Aided Process Engineering, 2019.

"Parametric modeling of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from photovoltaic power." Applied Energy, 2019.

"A general model for estimating emissions from integrated power generation and energy storage. Case study: Integration of solar photovoltaic power and wind power with batteries." Processes, 2018.

Conference talks

Multi-Level Life Cycle Analysis Tool for Sustainable Energy Systems Modeling, AIChE Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2019.

Modeling the Impact of Solar Tracking on Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Photovoltaic Power, AIChE Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2019.

SESAME: A Modular Technology Assessment Tool, Workshop on Analytical Frameworks for Assessment of National Energy Options, International Energy Agency Gas & Oil Technology Collaboration Program, Paris, France, 10/30/2019.

A Framework for Multi-level Life Cycle Analysis of the Energy System, ESCAPE 29, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 06/17/2019.

Modeling Impacts of Tracking on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Photovoltaic Power, ESCAPE 29, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 06/18/2019.

(Selected for spotlight presentations) Integrated Life Cycle Analysis and Multi-level Energy Systems Modeling, SETAC Europe 29th Annual Meeting, Helsinki, Finland, 05/29/2019.

The Hidden Emissions Impact of Operational Variability of Fossil Fuel Fired Power Plants, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2018, Washington, DC, 12/11/2018.

Core team

Emre Gençer
Principal Investigator and Research Scientist
Maryam Arbabzadeh
Postdoctoral Associate
Srujana Goteti
Postdoctoral Associate
Emmanuel Kasseris
Research Scientist
Ian Miller
Research Affiliate
Ragini Sreenath
Research Assistant
Jenn Schlick
Project Manager

Contributors

Undergraduates

Tevita Akau

Eva Anderson

Patrick Callahan

Patricia Chan

Philip Desmond

Allison Shepard

Brendan Wagner

Kelly Wu

Graduates and Postdocs

Bentley Clinton

Seiji Engelkeimer

Maria Etcheverry

Drake Hernandez

Monica Hernato

Sapna Kumari

Patricia Luna

Justin Montgomery

Omar Sabir

Michael Schulthoff

Hilary Vogelbaum

Haoshui Yu

Developers

Alessia Bellisario

Scott Nelson

Alumni

Tapajyoti Ghosh

Sign up

The SESAME online beta is expected in mid-2020. Sign up to become a beta user: