The rapid adoption and acceleration of the use of digital technologies is transforming the way we access and process information, impacting the global economy and our social dynamics. These dramatic technological and social changes also have important environmental and energy implications.
This initiative seeks to catalyze and disseminate research across various disciplines on a number of high-priority issue areas at the intersection of energy, environment, and digital platforms.
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Computation systems with the ability to learn and improve their performance over time are becoming more common. As the scope, complexity, and applications of these self-teaching machine systems expand, they will increasingly influence how we manage energy and the environment.
While the subject of much recent attention, there is little clarity surrounding blockchain’s energy consumption and its potential applications in support of sustainability.
The objects used for daily activities are increasingly interconnected and internet-capable, enabling the objects to share information with each other and with users, from smart home devices that reduce energy and water consumption, to interconnected agricultural devices equipped with soil quality sensors.
Digital sharing platforms such as Lyft, Uber and AirBnB have transformed the economy in numerous ways. Despite their prevalence and scope, we have yet to fully understand how use of these platforms impact a range of important environmental issues.
National Science Foundation Funds New Project to Coordinate Research Across Disciplines and Countries
(Washington, D.C.)—The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $300,000 to the Network on the Digital Economy and the Environment (nDEE)—an initiative of the Environmental Law …
The journal article based on the grant to Koomey and Masanet is now published and online. Check out their article with co-author Nuoa Lei, "Best practices for analyzing the direct energy use of blockchain technology systems: Review and policy recommendations," …
This project aims to address the data and analysis gaps by developing a metric-based framework to quantify energy and environmental implications of AI applications in the production of some of the most common energy-intensive chemicals. For more details and project results, see the accompanying presentation.
Dr. Yuan Yao, Yale School of the Environment
This project seeks to address the lack of research on the transportation-related climate impacts of the sharing platform Airbnb. This will be the first study of the changing distribution of Airbnb listings and the associated mobility patterns of Airbnb guests, comparing the ten largest Airbnb urban markets and providing data and recommendations for municipal authorities and ride hailing firms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr. Juliet Schor, Boston College
Dr. Özlem Ergun, Northeastern University
Dr. Qi Wang, Northeastern University
Dr. Mehmet Cansoy, Fairfield University
While the changes that would result from implementing blockchain solutions are worth studying, we also need to gain a deeper understanding of how these blockchain solutions are to be operated and by whom. For more details and project results, see the full paper and accompanying presentation.
Dr. Sara Saberi, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Joseph Sarkis, Worcester Polytechnic Institute