Mallory Elise Flowers

Ph.D. Candidate

Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
  • Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory
Email Address:
mflowers8@gatech.edu
Office Location:
D.M. Smith 219
Overview
Faculty Advisor:  Daniel Matisoff
Education:
  • Please see my personal webpage for the most up-to-date information on my research, teaching, and distinctions.
Areas of
Expertise:
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Energy Policy
  • Environmental Governance
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Sustainability
Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • Climate impacts on the cost of solar energy
       In: Energy Policy [Peer Reviewed]

    July 2016

    Photovoltaic (PV) Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) estimates are widely utilized by decision makers to predict the long-term cost and benefits of solar PV installations, but fail to consider local climate, which impacts PV panel lifetime and performance. Specific types of solar PV panels are known to respond to climate factors differently. Mono-, poly-, and amorphous-silicon (Si) PV technologies are known to exhibit varying degradation rates and instantaneous power losses as a function of operating temperature, humidity, thermal cycling, and panel soiling. We formulate an extended LCOE calculation, which considers PV module performance and lifespan as a function of local climate. The LCOE is then calculated for crystalline and amorphous Si PV technologies across several climates. Finally, we assess the impact of various policy incentives on reducing the firm's cost of solar deployment when controlling for climate. This assessment is the first to quantify tradeoffs between technologies, geographies, and policies in a unified manner. Results suggest crystalline Si solar panels as the most promising candidate for commercial-scale PV systems due to their low degradation rates compared to amorphous technologies. Across technologies, we note the strong ability of investment subsidies in removing uncertainty and reducing the LCOE, compared to production incentives.

  • Climate impacts on the cost of solar energy
       In: Energy Policy [Peer Reviewed]

    July 2016

    Photovoltaic (PV) Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) estimates are widely utilized by decision makers to predict the long-term cost and benefits of solar PV installations, but fail to consider local climate, which impacts PV panel lifetime and performance. Specific types of solar PV panels are known to respond to climate factors differently. Mono-, poly-, and amorphous-silicon (Si) PV technologies are known to exhibit varying degradation rates and instantaneous power losses as a function of operating temperature, humidity, thermal cycling, and panel soiling. We formulate an extended LCOE calculation, which considers PV module performance and lifespan as a function of local climate. The LCOE is then calculated for crystalline and amorphous Si PV technologies across several climates. Finally, we assess the impact of various policy incentives on reducing the firm's cost of solar deployment when controlling for climate. This assessment is the first to quantify tradeoffs between technologies, geographies, and policies in a unified manner. Results suggest crystalline Si solar panels as the most promising candidate for commercial-scale PV systems due to their low degradation rates compared to amorphous technologies. Across technologies, we note the strong ability of investment subsidies in removing uncertainty and reducing the LCOE, compared to production incentives.

  • Policy Monitor—Green Buildings: Economics and Policies
       In: Review of Environmental Economics and Policy [Peer Reviewed]

    July 2016

    This article presents an overview of green building economics and policies through a survey of theoretical and empirical evidence concerning green building practices. We define green building policy as policies that affect the entire life of the building, from design and construction to operation and deconstruction. We examine the economics of green buildings in the United States, with particular emphasis on market failures in the building sector such as information problems and externalities. We also discuss how policy instruments are used to address these market failures. We present original data on the types and potential impacts of these policy instruments in the United States, along with a brief review of international green building programs. We conclude by describing challenges for the empirical study of green buildings and priorities for future research and policy in this area.