The global energy system is undergoing a major transformation.

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

Sign up to become a beta user:

A screenshot of the SESAME web application

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

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

Maryam Arbabzadeh, Postdoctoral Associate

Maryam Arbabzadeh

Postdoctoral Associate

Amanda Farnsworth

Research Assistant

Emre Gençer, Principal Investigator and Research Scientist

Emre Gençer

Principal Investigator and Research Scientist

Sydney Johnson

Research Assistant

Ian Miller, Research Associate

Ian Miller

Research Associate

Jim Owens

Research Assistant

Jenn Schlick, Project Manager

Jenn Schlick

Project Manager

Ragini Sreenath, Research Assistant

Ragini Sreenath

Research Assistant

Contributors

Undergraduates

Tevita Akau

Eva Anderson

Patrick Callahan

Patricia Chan

Philip Desmond

Allison Shepard

Hilary Vogelbaum

Brendan Wagner

Kelly Wu

Graduates and Postdocs

Seiji Engelkeimer

Maria Etcheverry

Drake Hernandez

Mohammad Ostadi

Devaki Sakhamuru

Haoshui Yu

Developers

Alessia Bellisario

Scott Nelson

Alumni

Bentley Clinton

Tapajyoti Ghosh

Srujana Goteti

Monica Hernato

Emmanuel Kasseris

Sapna Kumari

Patricia Luna

Justin Montgomery

Omar Sabir

Michael Schulthoff