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Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Sarah Jordaan publishes new book examining the state of knowledge for life cycle assessments of natural gas-fired electricity


Although natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, it still has environmental impacts. To better understand these impacts, Sarah Jordaan, a Johns Hopkins faculty member with appointments at Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Whiting School of Engineering, has published her new book, Wells to Wire, which explores life cycle assessments (LCAs) of gas-fired electricity.
Within the book, published by Springer Publishing, Jordaan introduces readers to the field of LCA using natural gas-fired electricity as a case study, providing a comprehensive review of the state of the art in life cycle data, research, and scientific debate related to this product system. Most importantly, she clarifies the influence of changing markets and new export opportunities as well as the evolving role of natural gas a bridge fuel in the electric sector.
Jordaan is available to discuss the following topics examined in the book: 

  • Why natural gas, as a fuel for electricity generation, serves as an ideal case study for life cycle assessment
  • Whether natural gas can continue to be considered a bridge fuel
  • The environmental benefits and impacts of natural gas as a fuel for electricity 

Wells to Wire is available here.  

Media Contact

Jason Lucas
Communications Manager
Johns Hopkins SAIS
+1 (202) 663-5620 

About the Author

Sarah Jordaan is an Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. Her research is aimed at uncovering the environmental and economic trade-offs related to energy decisions, particularly those trade-offs related to the life cycle of energy technologies. Jordaan’s expertise covers the intersection of science, technology, and policy, resulting in publications that focus life cycle assessment and more broadly on technology assessment, energy policy, and innovation.
Before joining Johns Hopkins SAIS, Jordaan was an Assistant Professor of Energy Policy and Politics at the University of Calgary. There, she supervised graduate students in completing their degrees in either political science or sustainable energy. She taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in political science and engineering. She has also supervised graduate students from Lehigh's Energy Systems Engineering program. Jordaan seeks to bridge disciplinary knowledge for students and prepare them to take on challenges in decision-making regardless of whether they want a career in academia, industry, the public sector, or working for a non-profit.
Jordaan possesses more than a decade of experience researching energy and the environment with award-winning publications on climate policy and the water implications of energy technologies. Her foundations in government and public policy were strengthened at Harvard University with the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Kennedy School of Government, where she gained greater insight into climate science at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. She has held positions with the Electric Power Research Institute, Shell Canada, the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego, and the Ocean Sciences Center at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She earned her Ph.D. in 2010 at the University of Calgary in environmental design at the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Economy, and Environment. Her bachelor's degree is in physics with a minor in computer science from Memorial University. 

Johns Hopkins SAIS

A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For more than 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school's interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
For more information, visit or on Twitter @SAISHopkins

Friday, July 23, 2021