Valley Pathways Study moves toward cleaner energy future

Anne BrockOur Town Outdoors

University of Tennessee researchers have teamed up with the Tennessee Valley Authority on a Valley Pathways Study about a move toward cleaner energy while supporting the regional economy. They’ve calculated that this region’s 10 million residents create around 200 million metric tonnes of carbon each year; a metric tonne being equal to 1.10231 tons, meaning this is 220.462 million tons of carbon.

Dr. Charles Sims shared preliminary study highlights from the Baker School of Public Policy & Public Affairs on February 14 with TVA’s Board of Directors. “The Valley Pathways Study is really all about building a competitive and clean economy. Specifically, what we mean is thinking about how to decarbonize the economy as a whole, and not just the electricity sector.”

You can see his presentation here. Sims and TVA state that the region cannot reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with changes in the electricity sector alone. Instead, the challenge is for carbon reduction in multiple areas.

36 percent of the region’s carbon emissions are shown from transportation, with 27 percent from electricity and then industrial, commercial and residential buildings producing 21 percent of emissions.

Because of vehicles being the largest polluters, the study suggests more electric light-duty vehicles along with necessary charging stations being a top solution. Other solutions listed are making businesses and homes more energy efficient, developing low-carbon fuels and more innovation in carbon capture.

More here from UTK about this study, including a link to sign up for a public webinar later in February.

Anne Brock is marketing coordinator for Solar Alliance, which designs and manages solar installation projects for manufacturers and small businesses. She can be reached at or 865-221-8349.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *