Faculty and Staff - Klein
Office: 305 Winslow Hall
Phone: (207) 581-3174
Ph.D., Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
B.S., Environmental Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Renewable Energy, Energy Economics & Policy, Environmental Impacts of Electricity Generation, Energy Storage, Energy Poverty
My research is interdisciplinary in nature and centers on the economic, environmental and social tradeoffs inherent in the production, distribution, and use of energy. I use engineering-economic analysis, environmental life cycle assessment, social benefit-cost analysis, and multi-criteria decision analysis to assess tradeoffs in energy decision-making. My primary expertise is in concentrated solar power, thermal energy storage, and distributed solar energy generation. However, I am expanding my research to include other renewable energy technologies, especially solar distributed generation (water/space heating and PV), biomass and wind. I am particularly interested in comparisons between central and distributed generation renewable energy options – especially community-managed strategies. I am also beginning some research on environmentally-economically sustainable waste management.
After receiving my B.S. in Environmental Science, I volunteered for one term of service with the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (http://www.americorps.gov/about/programs/nccc.asp). I was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina and traveled with a team of thirteen people to seven states in the Southeast region of the Unites States doing projects in the areas of education, the environment, and unmet human needs. I then worked for nearly two years as an environmental technician in San Diego, California, helping to remediate soil and groundwater contamination from leaking underground gasoline and diesel storage tanks. Subsequently, I worked for three years as a middle school science teacher in San Diego and earned a California Teaching Credential in Chemistry. I then taught International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems to high school students in Quito, Ecuador for two years before beginning graduate studies.
My doctoral research was about the environmental and economic implications of thermal energy storage for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. I created an engineering-economic model of a parabolic trough CSP plant with three energy backup systems: molten salt thermal energy storage, natural gas-fired heat transfer fluid heater, and minimal backup. I used the model to compare the levelized cost of energy and expected annual profit of plants with different backup systems, energy backup capacities, and cooling technologies. I also created an environmental life cycle assessment model that used inputs from the engineering-economic model to estimate greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and land use. I used the results of these analyses in a multi-criteria decision analysis framework to assess the tradeoffs between different backup systems and cooling technologies in order to develop policy recommendations. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship and the Climate Decision-Making Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
I am currently working on assessing economic, social, environmental and policy barriers and opportunities to widespread distributed solar energy deployment (PV, water and space heating applications). I am also part of the new NSF Sustainable Energy Pathways group that is examining an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable pathway for developing drop-in biofuels from woody biomass.
- ECO 180 – Citizens, Energy and Sustainability (Spring) – Syllabus (DOC)
- ECO 405 – Sustainable Energy Economics and Policy (Spring) – Syllabus (DOC)
Recent Publications (note: I changed my last name to Klein in January 2013)
- Wagner, S. and Rubin, E., 2012, Life cycle environmental implications of concentrated solar power plants with different energy backup systems, Energy Policy, under review.
- Mario F. Teisl, Shannon McCoy, Sarah Marrinan, Teresa Johnson, Caroline L. Noblet, Robert Roper, Megan Wibberly and Sharon Wagner. Will offshore energy face ‘fair winds and following seas’?: Understanding the factors influencing marine energy support Estuaries and Coasts. In review.
- Wagner, S. and Rubin, E., 2012, Economic implications of thermal energy storage for concentrated solar thermal power, Renewable Energy, in press. http://www.sciencedirect.com.prxy4.ursus.maine.edu/science/article/pii/S0960148112004831
- Wagner, S., Rubin, E., 2012. Evaluating renewable energy systems along the hybrid spectrum: concentrated solar power, Proceedings of the International Conference on Clean Energy (ICCE). Quebec, Canada.
- 2012: White House Champion for Change – Americorps Alums:
- 2011: World Renewable Energy Congress Best Paper Award in Solar Thermal Applications:
Current Graduate Students
- Steve Dutra
- Stephanie Whalley
- Binod Neupane