Estimating criteria pollutant emissions using the California Regional Multisector Air Quality Emissions (CA-REMARQUE) model v1.0
Journal article, 2018
The California Regional Multisector Air Quality Emissions (CA-REMARQUE) model is developed to predict changes to criteria pollutant emissions inventories in California in response to sophisticated emissions control programs implemented to achieve deep greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Two scenarios for the year 2050 act as the starting point for calculations: a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario and an 80 % GHG reduction (GHG-Step) scenario. Each of these scenarios was developed with an energy economic model to optimize costs across the entire California economy and so they include changes in activity, fuels, and technology across economic sectors. Separate algorithms are developed to estimate emissions of criteria pollutants (or their precursors) that are consistent with the future GHG scenarios for the following economic sectors: (i) on-road, (ii) rail and off-road, (iii) marine and aviation, (iv) residential and commercial, (v) electricity generation, and (vi) biorefineries. Properly accounting for new technologies involving electrification, biofuels, and hydrogen plays a central role in these calculations. Critically, criteria pollutant emissions do not decrease uniformly across all sectors of the economy. Emissions of certain criteria pollutants (or their precursors) increase in some sectors as part of the overall optimization within each of the scenarios. This produces nonuniform changes to criteria pollutant emissions in close proximity to heavily populated regions when viewed at 4 km spatial resolution with implications for exposure to air pollution for those populations. As a further complication, changing fuels and technology also modify the composition of reactive organic gas emissions and the size and composition of particulate matter emissions. This is most notably apparent through a comparison of emissions reductions for different size fractions of primary particulate matter. Primary PM2.5 emissions decrease by 4 % in the GHG-Step scenario vs. the BAU scenario while corresponding primary PM0.1 emissions decrease by 36 %. Ultrafine particles (PM0.1) are an emerging pollutant of concern expected to impact public health in future scenarios. The complexity of this situation illustrates the need for realistic treatment of criteria pollutant emissions inventories linked to GHG emissions policies designed for fully developed countries and states with strict existing environmental regulations.