Little research is available regarding energy use and sourcing decisions among lower-income households, particularly with respect to the efficacy of various behavioral interventions (e.g., providing social norms information; financial vs. social incentives). There is a similar lack of research that examines the barriers to and facilitators of lower-income households adopting small-scale renewable energy technologies (e.g., rooftop solar).
Clean Energy Extension
The Clean Energy Extension has reached out to MassDEP and received its public database of over 7000 boiler and turbines permitted across its four state regions. The extension will use this database to develop a GIS depiction and analysis of the boilers to target businesses and institutions for CHP, renewable thermal, and district energy opportunities.
UMass Clean Energy Extension is coordinating with DOER and the State Geologist Stephen Mabee and Five College Professor Michael Rhodes, Department of Geosciences, to conduct geological explorations to identify potential near surface bedrock for direct geothermal heating in Massachusetts.
Project Goal: To investigate the potential for large-scale energy storage in the Massachusetts electrical supply as the penetration of non-dispatchable renewable energy sources increases.
Project Goal: To study potential for sequestration of forest carbon in agricultural soils in Massachusetts, based on availability of woody biomass, availability of suitable soils for biochar application, commercially available pyrolysis technology, and estimated biochar production cost.
Project Goal: To further develop the Smart Solar concept in which solar electric systems are made capable of self-regulating their power output based on the needs of the larger grid, resulting in greater solar penetration and increased grid stability.
Project Goal: This project will promote energy efficient operations and management practices in educational and public/commercial buildings in Massachusetts by improving and calibrating control strategies for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
Project goal: The study will utilize statistical/econometric modeling tools to estimate the impact of individual state-level policies on the growth of solar PV capacity at the commercial scale.
Project Goals: (1) To motivate the use and development of data center facilities, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to support the IT and knowledge economies, by quantifying the energy savings from using newer data center technologies that are emerging. (2) To suggest simple ways to improve the energy-efficiency hosting servers on campuses or in office settings, either by improving the efficiency of existing server closets or using a prototype of a free air cooling system.