Drawdown Georgia aims to accelerate progress toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions in Georgia. Our team of university researchers (from Georgia Tech, UGA, Emory, and Georgia State), and community partners (Southface Institute, Greenlink Analytics, Partnership for Southern Equity, and others) is providing a science-based approach to achieving the Drawdown Georgia goal.
Geospatial Tracking, Business Engagement, and Solution Activation
In the second phase of Drawdown Georgia, we are going to develop a geospatial system to track county- and metro-level, monthly greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates for Georgia. This system will focus on Georgia’s 159 counties and its energy-intensive sectors, e.g., electricity, transportation, buildings, and industry. On top of that, we would also estimate the amount of carbon emissions that are absorbed by Georgia’s forests and agricultural soils. These data will be visualized as an interactive map in a “Georgia Emissions Dashboard” where users can explore county-level data. By increasing GHG monitoring transparency, we can identify counties and sectors that are leading the state to carbon neutrality, those with large carbon footprints, and peers who can share winning strategies.
The Drawdown Georgia project has demonstrated that there is a path to significant carbon emission reductions in Georgia by 2030 across a set of high-impact solutions. To achieve these emission reductions, it is imperative to actively engage the business community. Lessons can be shared by gathering businesses together in a state-wide “climate club” where companies and NGOs can participate in collective GHG reduction commitments. These actors would have access to workshops and products that translate the technical Drawdown Georgia work into the language of business. In parallel, “beyond carbon” considerations would be integrated into the workshops to provide companies with a clearer vision of how adopting high-impact solutions can lead to job creation, social performance, and ecosystem sustainability.
Supported by geospatial tracking of climate solutions, supporting infrastructure, business commitments, policy actions, and public opinions, our research is identifying key activation levers. Data from multiple sources are being used to identify public attitudes and stakeholder views, pathways to solutions adoption, barriers that inhibit progress, and the power of enabling infrastructure. These data are being visualized in dynamic, interactive maps linked to Drawdown Georgia’s emissions dashboard. Promising policies are being profiled, and climate solution action plans are being developed.
In Spring 2022, Georgia Tech Grad Students Studied Drawdown Georgia's High-Impact Solutions--Enjoy their 9 videos
Nine fantastic class projects offer valuable insights into Carbon Drawdown solutions for Georgia. Most of them focus on high-impact climate solutions identified for the 2030 timeframe. Two others look at possible longer-term solutions (wind and modular nuclear reactors).
They all provide state-of-the-art information with some original calculations, assessments, and policy analytics. The videos are hot-linked to each of the project titles below. Open the files and then play them to hear each team of graduate students talk about their findings.
Two projects covered sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, three examined EV charging infrastructure and battery recycling, and two projects focused on rooftop solar and demand response to manage peak loads.
|||Renewable Resources on Poultry Farms in Georgia||Lily Smith, Blake Jones, Maria Lucas, Osamuyi Obadolagbonyi, Ashok Sankaran, Emma Brodzik|
|||Assessing the Feasibility and Sustainability of Agroforestry in Georgia||
|The State of Rooftop Solar in GA||Camila Gonzalez, Hamidreza Nazemi, Marianus Kick, Giovanni Delgadillo|
|A Proposed Paradigm Shift of Demand Response in the Southeast||Shavonn D'Souza, Christopher Contos, Alvaro Concha, Samantha Morton, Mathias Zacarias|
|||EV Charger Infrastructure Analysis in Georgia||Catherine Grey, Joseph Kern, Catriona MacGregor, Yifan Liu, Isaac Amponsah|
|Analyzing Circular Supply Chains for Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling||Shubham Tandon, Viraj Shah, Ruthwik Aki, Shlok Sharma, Shivtej Shete, Anush Oswal|
|U.S. EV Charging Infrastructure||Sahil Lala, Aditya Desai, Arjun Ramshankar, Brandi Lewis, Burhanuddin Samiwala, La'Darius Thomas|
Wind power from high towers and modular nuclear reactors were studied as longer-term climate solution possibilities:
|Feasibility of Wind Power in North Georgia||Jose Marte, Keith Dowsett, Krissie Haddon, Santiago Juarez, Shannon Chen, Tom Cihota|
|Assessing the potential of small modular nuclear reactors in the U.S.||Elliot Reid, Asher Mouat, Joe Caracciolo|
National Academy of Sciences publication on Drawdown Georgia was highlighted at the 2022 Annual Meeting in May:
“A Framework for Localizing Global Climate Solutions and their Carbon Reduction Potential” shows how Georgia can reduce its carbon footprint by 50% in 2030 below its 2005 net emissions. With the roadmap produced by Drawdown Georgia, we can meet our fair share of the Paris Accord's science-based climate goals. The roadmap is aspirational, but also realistic. And it is attentive to the needs of Georgia's resource-constrained communities.
Achievable Abatement Potential for 20 Georgia Solutions
In Spring 2021, Georgia Tech Grad Students Studied Drawdown Georgia's High-Impact Solutions--Enjoy their 9 videos
Nine fantastic class projects offer valuable insights into Drawdown Georgia's high-impact solutions--technology overviews, market assessments, stakeholder perspectives, and policy options. The videos are hot-linked to each of the project titles below.
|||Facilitating a Solarized Georgia||Paprapee Buason, Min-Kyeong (Min) Cha, Théo Davis, Parker Hamilton, Bethany Tate|
|||Energy Burden Drawdown: How Georgia Can Promote Rooftop Solar with a Focus on Equity and Inclusion||Mohannad Alkhraijah, Mona Dandan, Nidhima Grover, Simon Key, Heather Null, Jennifer Wilson|
|Utility-Scale Solar: Maximizing Potential for the State of Georgia||Jessica Kuna, Hadassah Robbins, Hassan Haddad, Sonja Brankovic, Claire Cressman|
|Utility-Scale Solar in Georgia||Kelsey Alexander, Maddy Bodiford, Nidhi Gangavarapu, Nifemi Moronkeji, Rich Stanzione|
|Green Retrofitting in Georgia||Daniel Mactaggart, Garry Harris, Jayna Glover, June Fodor|
|Transit Heat||Chiraag Vinod Bhawnani, PJ LoCicero, Geneva Rumer|
|Assessing the Potential for Increased Electric Vehicles Use in the Context of Drawdown Georgia||Alejandro Owen Aquino, Bettina Arkhurst, Jonathan Drummond, Gunjan Gupta, Sooji Ha, Tucker Hembree, Niveda Shanmugam|
|||Energy Efficient Trucks in Georgia||Diana Burns, Hannah Griggs, Kayla Kelley, Lance Smith, Brooke Schuhle, Cristian Arguello|
|Land Sink Policy in Georgia||Madeline Shepard, Isaiah Borne, Brooklyn Mooney, Lauren Rister, Haylee Stanger|
Solve Climate by 2020, A webinar on April 7, 2021 that focused on Drawdown Georgia: https://cepl.gatech.edu/climate-dialogue
2019-20: Selecting High Impact GA Solutions
The Academic Research team presented the findings of the carbon sinks and Mt CO2 reductions that are technically feasible to reach achieve a net zero GHG footprint and sell excess credits into carbon offset markets.
The Drawdown Georgia project was spotlighted in a half-day of activities at the August 6, 2020, Southface Institute’s Greenprints Conference. The project was introduced by John Lanier (Ray C. Anderson Foundation) and Daniel Rochberg (Emory University), then described in some detail by Marilyn Brown (Georgia Tech). Five high-profile Drawdown Georgia solutions were then introduced: Rooftop Solar (Marilyn Brown), Demand Response (Matt Cox), Composting (Sudhagar Mani), Retrofitting (Shane Totten), and Electric Vehicles (Rich Simmons). Before breaking into discussion sessions, Michael Oxman (Georgia Tech) described the Beyond Carbon considerations. The break-out discussions were synthesized in Miro Boards – characterizing Accelerators, Barriers, Beyond Carbon, and Promising Approaches. The participants offered lots of ideas and insights, which was a key goal of the event.
This working paper (on left) describes the first phase of our research, involving a fact-based assessment of Project Drawdown's solutions, to identify those that could significantly reduce Georgia’s carbon footprint by 2030. The Appendix (on right) includes logic diagrams, info sheets, and references describing 75 individual solutions. Below is a quick reference of the 20 high impact solutions, organized by sector, which are retained for further research into costs and benefits required for carbon drawdown.
20 Tech Briefs and Powerpoint Presentations
16 additional 25 MW cogen plants using waste heat to generate electricity
187,000 households participate in a demand-response program, reducing 10% of their peak demand
295,000 new 5 KW home solar systems
10 additional 100 MW solar farms and 36 additional 5 MW community solar systems
4 typical landfill facilities with 5 MW gas-to-energy systems
- Alternative Mobility
Eliminate 2.5% of car trips
- Electric Vehicles
Replace 250,000 gasoline-powered vehicles with EVs
- Energy-Efficient Cars
Improve fleetwide fuel economy for light duty vehicles 3%
- Energy-Efficient Trucks
Reduce diesel fuel use in medium and heavy duty trucks 10%
- Mass Transit
320,000 additional households in Transit Oriented Developments
Buildings & Materials
Retrofit 20% of Georgia’s homes to save 20% of energy
- Recycling /Waste Management
Recycle at least 20% of current paper waste
- Refrigerant Management
Retrofit refrigeration systems in all Georgia grocery stores to refrigerant leakage rate of 8%
Food & Agriculture
Divert ~2 million tons of organic wastes including food waste from landfilling to composting by 2030
- Conservation Agriculture
Adapt additional 1.6 million acres of croplands into conservation agriculture practices in Georgia
- Plant-Rich Diet
25% of Georgia population shifts to plant-rich or low-carbon diets
- Reduced Food Waste
Reduce about 12% of current food waste
Increase forest cover by 3.4% with mixed tree species
Afforestation & Silvopasture Plant 7% of current pastures with mixed hardwood & loblolly tree species using staggered planting times
- Coastal Wetlands
Increase Georgia’s coastal wetland area by 71%
Six sector workgroups are comprised of faculty, researchers, and graduate students at four universities: Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, Emory University, and Georgia State.
1. Hosted a Workshop at the Kendeda Living Building, Georgia Tech, November 6th, 2019