CDSI Speaker Series: Morgan Edwards

Headshot of Morgan Edwards, and talk title, date and location

Capturing barriers to technology change
in computational models for climate policy

CDSI Speaker Series x TISED Talks

Over the past few years, a wave of actors – governments at all levels, electric utilities, companies, and educational institutions – have set targets to reach net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Meeting these targets will require a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use and simultaneous growth in adoption of new climate technologies. Climate policy models frequently assume that rapid technology transitions are possible, but history points to potential social, political, and economic barriers. This talk will discuss projects at the Climate Action Lab to bridge granular technology data and computational models to explore the limits and potential of technology change for climate policy. The first project uses detailed technology and infrastructure data to model pathways to phase out coal power plants and transition away from natural gas use in buildings. The second project uses early investment data and insights from analogous historical technologies to model the scale-up of carbon dioxide removal technologies. These projects highlight the high costs of delaying technology transitions and the pivotal role of climate and innovation policy over the next decade.

Morgan Edwards

Morgan Edwards is an Assistant Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and affiliated faculty with the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Energy Analysis and Policy Program, Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, and Institute for Research on Poverty. Her research focuses on modeling the role of technology in addressing the threat of climate change and assessing policy strategies to accelerate equitable energy transitions. Current projects include modeling the role of climate-tech in meeting net zero targets, evaluating the equity impacts of building electrification policies, and assessing pathways to transition natural gas infrastructure. She holds a PhD in Data, Systems, and Society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a SM in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a BS in Environmental Science and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to Madison, she was a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland.

Date: March 20th, 2023
Time: 2PM
Location: hybrid. Macdonald Engineering Building Room 267, and online via Zoom (link provided following registration).

The talk will be followed by coffee & snacks.

Event co-hosted by

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Sustainable Growth Initiative


Free and open to all. Please register.


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