Consultant
Charles Li

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Dr. Charles Li joined E3 in 2018 after completing his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Princeton University. His work combines E3’s strengths in electricity planning and building electrification to assess how electrification and decarbonization of electricity contribute to reducing economy-wide emissions.

Charles has led technical analysis on recent building electrification studies in California and New York, as well as recent decarbonization studies in Maryland and Nova Scotia. His PhD research, which quantified how air pollution in China reduces solar PV output, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and received media coverage in the US and China.

Charles believes that developing clean, low-carbon energy is imperative if the world is to shift towards a sustainable development path. He joined E3 to work at the forefront of the electricity transformation and because of E3’s reputation for delivering well-rounded and unbiased analysis.

In his free time, Charles enjoys cooking, hiking, photography and Lego collecting.

Education: PhD, civil and environmental engineering, Princeton University; BS, atmospheric science, Peking University, China

Projects

Cost and Emissions Impacts of Residential Building Electrification in California | Three Utility Study, 2018-19

E3 was retained by three of California’s largest electric utilities – Southern California Edison (SCE), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) – to explore the consumer costs and emissions reduction potential associated with the electrification of California homes. The study examines costs, savings, and emissions for electric and gas appliances in six different home types in geographical areas covering over half the state’s population. Unlike prior studies, it closely evaluates the consumer cost perspective on building electrification and quantifies GHG emissions savings by home type. E3 found that building electrification would deliver lifecycle cost savings for most home types in the study area. For homes with air conditioning – about 80 percent of the total – the economics are particularly strong: all new construction homes and the vast majority (84 percent) of existing single-family homes with A/C would save by going all-electric. E3 also found that electrification would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes – starting today. For example, a Sacramento home built in the 1990s would immediately cut its GHG emissions nearly in half by switching to all-electric appliances; by 2050, with a significantly cleaner electric grid, the GHG savings would grow to over 80 percent (and more, if California achieves carbon neutrality).

Publications


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