Sullivan Meyer ’24

Major

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Community Attitudes to Large-scale Renewable Energy Deployment in Net-Zero America Scenarios

Certificate(s): Architecture and Engineering

The Princeton Net-Zero America (NZA) project analyzed existing technologies, natural resources and economic contexts to identify five cost-optimizing pathways for America to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As we know, however, change in America rarely comes in its most cost-efficient form. Market incumbents, entrenched political actors and other social forces also constrain our country’s path to progress. My team’s goal was to identify what these forces may be and begin assessing how they could influence NZA scenarios. The first half of my summer was devoted to conducting a literature review of studies that have examined the sociopolitical barriers to renewable-energy development and to compiling data on energy, politics, policies and demographics. I spent the second half of my internship summarizing those findings in a series of reports on 11 states identified as particularly important to the net-zero transition. I learned about social science research, data collection and management, and various quantitative analysis techniques. I hope to one day work in politics, policy or engineering where I can help segue the findings of projects such as this into tangible change.



Internship Year

2021

Project Category

Innovation and a New Energy Future

Organization(s)

Behavioral Science for Policy Lab, Princeton University

Mentor(s)

Elke Weber, Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs; Johanna Matt-Navarro, Research Lab Manager, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; Sara Constantino, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, and Lecturer in the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Elisabeth Krueger, Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer, High Meadows Environmental Institute; Jordana Composto, Ph.D. candidate, Psychology