Dr. David L. McCollum is a Senior R&D Staff in the Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis (META) Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with expertise spanning economics, engineering, policy analysis, and corporate advisory services. His research attempts to inform state, national (developed and developing) and global energy and environmental issues on matters related to, among others, deep decarbonization, net-zero emissions pathways, energy-transport-climate policies, electric sector planning, end-use sector electrification (transport, buildings, industry), Sustainable Development Goals (including inter-dependencies), financing needs for the energy system transformation, and human dimensions of climate change. He employs energy-economic systems and integrated assessment models in support of this work (e.g., MESSAGEix-GLOBIOM, TIMES-MARKAL, REGEN, GCAM).
Before joining ORNL in September 2021, David was a Senior Research Scholar with the Energy Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, and a Principal Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California. He currently holds secondary appointments as Guest Senior Research Scholar at IIASA; Research Fellow in Energy and Environment at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee; and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London. The latter is in his capacity with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Support Unit (TSU - Working Group III) for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). David previously led activities within the Global Energy Assessment; IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 - WG III); IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C; and other international, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as for the World Bank and International Council for Science (ICSU). He is listed by Reuters as one of the world’s 250 most influential climate scientists.
David received a PhD and MS in Transportation Technology & Policy from the University of California, Davis (USA), Institute of Transportation Studies; an MS in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the same institution; and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (USA).
Examples of Current Work
- Net Zero World Initiative
- Deputy Manager for Partnerships, NZW Action Center
- ORNL Lab Lead
- Sponsor: DOE, State Department, other US government agencies, multiple philanthropic foundations
- DECARB (Decarbonizing Energy through Collaborative Analysis of Routes and Benefits)
- Member of the Core Analysis Team (NREL, ANL, LBNL, ORNL, PNNL)
- Sponsor: DOE-EERE Strategic Analysis Office
- Leading an internal effort to build a diverse community of decision science and global change analysis experts across the laboratory
- E3SM-GCAM Exploration of CDR
- Exploring the effectiveness of land-based carbon dioxide removal in stringent mitigation pathways using world-leading earth systems and integrated assessment models
- MultiSector Dynamics Community of Practice
- Member, Scientific Steering Group
- Co-Chair, Working Group on Connecting MSD Research to Operations ('R2O2R')
- Energy Modeling Forum 37 Exercise (EMF-37): Deep Decarbonization & High Electrification Scenarios for North America
- Transportation Study Team
- Ancillary Impacts Study Team
- Hydrogen Study Team
- EDITS Consortium (Energy Demand changes Induced by Technological and Social innovations)
- End-Use Energy Demand Data Working Group
- Energy Security Working Group
Expertise & Interests
- Integrated assessment and multi-sector dynamics of global change and its human drivers and impacts
- Analysis of energy, climate, and broader sustainability objectives, including assessing their inter-linkages
- Energy-economic systems modeling and scenario analysis to inform policy-making and corporate decision-making (global, national, and subnational)
- Transportation sector modeling and analysis (technology, policy, consumer behavior)
- Electricity sector modeling and analysis (end-use electrification, systems modeling, and markets and regulation)
- Sustainability finance (investment needs for achieving energy, climate, and other sustainability goals)
- Bistline, J.E.T. G. Blanford, J. Grant, E. Knipping, D.L McCollum, U. Nopmongcol, H. Scarth, T. Shah, and G. Yarwood (2022). "Economy-wide evaluation of CO2 and air quality impacts of electrification in the United States," Nature Communications (13:1), 1-12.
- Zakeri, B., K. Paulavets, L. Barreto-Gomez, L. Gomez Echeverri, S. Pachauri, B. Boza-Kiss, C. Zimm, J. Rogelj, F. Creutzig, D. Ürge-Vorsatz, D.G. Victor, M.D. Bazilian, S. Fritz, D. Gielen, D.L. McCollum, L. Srivastava, J.D. Hunt, and S. Pouya (2022). “Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions,” Energies, 15 (17).
- IPCC Working Group III Contribution to the 6th Assessment Report (WG III AR6) - Lead Author for Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary; and Contributing Author for Chapter 3 (Mitigation Pathways Compatible with Long-term Goals), Chapter 6 (Energy Systems), and Annex III (Scenarios and Modelling Methods)
- Yeh, S., J. Gil, P. Kyle, P. Kishimoto, P. Cazzola, M. Craglia, O. Edelenbosch, P. Fragkos, L. Fulton, Y. Liao, L. Martinez, D.L. McCollum, J. Miller, R. Pereira, and J. Teter (2022). “Improving future travel demand projections: a pathway with an open science interdisciplinary approach,” Progress in Energy.
- Bhardwaj, C., J. Axsen, and D. McCollum (2022). “Which ‘Second-best’ Climate Policies Are Best? Simulating Cost-effective Policy Mixes for Passenger Vehicles,” Resource and Energy Economics, 101319.
- Bhardwaj, C., J. Axsen, and D. McCollum (2022). “How to design a zero-emissions vehicle mandate? Simulating impacts on sales, GHG emissions and cost-effectiveness using the AUtomaker-Consumer Model (AUM),” Transport Policy (117).
- McCollum, D.L. (2021). “Machine learning for energy projections,” Nature Energy.
- McCollum, D.L. and A. Al Khourdajie (2021), "Little room for new fossil fuel development if global temperatures are to stay below 1.5°C". Joule, Vol. 5, Issue 10, pp. 2542-2545.
- Skea, J., P. Shukla, A. Al Khourdajie, and D. McCollum (2021), "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Transparency and integrated assessment modeling". Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 12, Issue 5.
- Bistline, J.E.T., C.W. Roney, D.L. McCollum, and G.J. Blanford (2021). "Deep decarbonization impacts on electric load shapes and peak demand". Environmental Research Letters.
- Bhardwaj, C., J. Axsen, and D. McCollum (2021). "Simulating automakers’ response to zero emissions vehicle regulation". Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 94, 102789.
- Knighton, L.T. et al. (2021). “Techno-Economic Analysis of Product Diversification Options for Sustainability of the Monticello and Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plants,” Technical Report INL/EXT-21-62563-Rev001. US-DOE Office of Nuclear Energy.
- Andrijevic, M., C.F. Schleussner, M.J. Gidden, D.L. McCollum, and J. Rogelj (2020). "COVID-19 recovery funds dwarf clean energy investment needs". Science, Vol. 370, Issue 6514, 298-300.
- Bhardwaj, C., J. Axsen, F. Kern, and D. McCollum (2020). "Why have multiple climate policies for light-duty vehicles? Policy mix rationales, interactions and research gaps". Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 135, 309-326.
- McCollum, D., A. Gambhir, J. Rogelj, and C. Wilson (2020). “Energy modellers should explore extremes more systematically in scenarios”. Nature Energy.
- Parkinson, S., V. Krey, D. Huppmann, T. Kahil, D. McCollum et al. (2019). "Balancing clean water-climate change mitigation trade-offs". Environmental Research Letters 14 (1), 014009.
- Grubler, A., C. Wilson, N. Bento, B. Boza-Kiss, V. Krey, D.L. McCollum et al. (2018). "A low energy demand scenario for meeting the 1.5 C target and sustainable development goals without negative emission technologies". Nature Energy, Vol. 3, Issue 6, 515-527.
- McCollum, D.L., C. Wilson, M. Bevione, S. Carrara, O.Y. Edelenbosch, J. Emmerling, C. Guivarch, P. Karkatsoulis, I. Keppo, V. Krey, Z. Lin, E. Ó Broin, L. Paroussos, H. Pettifor, K. Ramea, K. Riahi, F. Sano, B.S. Rodriguez, and D.P. van Vuuren (2018). “Interaction of consumer preferences and climate policies in the global transition to low-carbon vehicles”. Nature Energy, Vol. 3, 664–673.
- McCollum, D.L., W. Zhou, C. Bertram, H.-S. de Boer, V. Bosetti, S. Busch, J. Després, L. Drouet, J. Emmerling, M. Fay, O. Fricko, S. Fujimori, M. Gidden, M. Harmsen, D. Huppmann, G. Iyer, V. Krey, E. Kriegler, C. Nicolas, S. Pachauri, S. Parkinson, M. Poblete-Cazenave, P. Rafaj, N. Rao, J. Rozenberg, A. Schmitz, W. Schoepp, D. van Vuuren, and K. Riahi (2018). “Energy investment needs for fulfilling the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. Nature Energy, Vol. 3, 589-599.
- McCollum, D.L., L. Gomez Echeverri, S. Busch, S. Pachauri, S. Parkinson, J. Rogelj, V. Krey, J. Minx, M. Nilsson, A.S. Stevance, and K. Riahi (2018). “Connecting the Sustainable Development Goals by their energy inter-linkages”. Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 1, Number 3.
- McCollum, D.L., C. Wilson, H. Pettifor, K. Ramea, V. Krey, K. Riahi, C. Bertram, Z. Lin, O.Y. Edelenbosch, and S. Fujisawa (2017). "Improving the behavioral realism of global integrated assessment models: An application to consumers’ vehicle choices". Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 55, pp. 322-342.
- McCollum, D.L., J. Jewell, V. Krey, M. Bazilian, M. Fay, and K. Riahi (2016), “Quantifying uncertainties influencing the long-term impacts of oil prices on energy markets and carbon emissions”. Nature Energy, Vol. 1, Issue 6, Article number: 16077.
- Cameron, C., S. Pachauri, N. Rao, D. McCollum, J. Rogelj, and K. Riahi (2016). “Policy tradeoffs between climate mitigation and clean cook stove access in South Asia”. Nature Energy, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Article number: 15010.
Leadership Positions, Advisory Boards & Committees (past and present)
- Review Editor, Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA5), Chapter 18 on Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems
- Review Editor, Second Austrian Climate Assessment Report (AAR2), Chapter 3 on Settlements, Mobility and Spatial Planning
- Co-Chair, Working Group on Connecting MSD Research to Operations, MultiSector Dynamics Community of Practice
- Leadership Team, ORNL Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI)
- Member, Expert Group on Energy’s Interlinkages with Other SDGs in the framework of the SDG7 Technical Advisory Group (SDG7 TAG), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
- Associate Editor, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition (a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by Elsevier)
- Member, U.S. Committee for IIASA; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM); Board on International Scientific Organizations
- Member, Planning Committee for the U.S. Research Data Summit 2023; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Policy and Global Affairs Division
- Scientific Advisory Board, EU Horizon 2020 Project LOCOMOTION
- Scientific Advisory Board, EU Horizon Europe Project DIAMOND
- Advisory Team, TEMOA modeling for the project Open Energy Outlook for the United States
- Steering Committee, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TEMPO transportation pathways model
- Scientific Advisory Group, Science Based Targets Initiative
- Steering Committee Member, International Transport Energy Modeling Consortium (iTEM),
- Advisory Board Member, International Transport Forum (of the OECD), Decarbonising Transport Initiative
- Member, Permanent Committee on Diversity Management and Building a Positive Work Environment at IIASA
- Reviewer for Science, Nature, Nature Climate Change, Nature Energy, Nature Sustainability, Nature Communications, Environmental Research Letters, Climatic Change, Joule, Energy and Climate Change, Energy Economics, and others
- Supervisor and mentor to dozens of junior and mid-career staff (including students) since 2011