The Power Life Cycle Analysis Tool (PowerLCAT) is
now available for public download on the NETL Website
(click for further information)

Areas of Specialization:

Energy Use and Climate Change
Energy Efficiency
Electricity production costs
The U.S. and China's Environmental Policy
Climate Change Policy
Gas Prices, Oil Prices
Hydrogen as an Energy Source
Nuclear power economics and policy
Chinese energy demand

I'm committed to making HWS as green as possible and to make sure that students understand why it is important to recycle, reduce energy use, compost, and to think about their overall impact. And HWS is certainly making progress (but yes, we have a long way to go!). As a signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, HWS has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2025. (Click here to read more about the pledge)

Our first major step was offsetting 100% of our campus electricity usage with wind power.

GM’s Fuel Cell Vehicle on the HWS Campus (photo credit: K. Colton)
Drennen presents “Pathways to a Hydrogen Future” to GM’s Daniel O’Connell
(photo credit: K. Colton)
First year volunteers sand and paint 70 “Yellow Bikes” during 2008 Orientation
(photo credit: K. Colton)
President Gearan signs the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (photo credit: K. Colton)
John Catillaz (’09) helps with launch of the “Pitch in one bin” recycling campaign
(photo credit: K. Colton)
Professors Halfman and Drennen along with Clancy Brown and Gil Carr check out construction on the Finger Lakes Institute (photo credit: K. Colton)
Professor Drennen views construction on the Three Gorges Dam in China
Professor Drennen explaining efficient lighting options (photo credit: K. Colton)
Visit to the Tug Hill wind farm.
The “Energy Class” explores the renewable energy options at Prof. Halfman’s house.
Jerimiah Booream-Phelps (’11) checks out kitchen in Halfman’s energy efficient house.
Prof. Halfman explains the energy features in his house.
Beijing recycling center, summer 2009.
Visiting the Beijing Recycling Center with Professor Magee.
Drennen and son Skylar at Tiger Leaping Gorge on Yangtze River
Melting Arctic Sea Ice, Summer 2009
Energy class field trip to coal-fired power plant
Energy class field trip to coal-fired power plant
Semester aboard program in Geneva Switzerland
Semester aboard program in Geneva Switzerland
Semester aboard program in Geneva Switzerland

An innovator in his field, Thomas Drennen has an expertise that interweaves economics with environmental issues. Is it possible for the world to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels and replace them with an economically viable alternative, which might also reduce global warming? Could solar or wind energy, or even advanced hydrogen-fueled vehicles, be a solution? Drennen's research answers these types of questions.

During the past few years, he has created and continues to perfect interactive computer models that explain the relationship between energy use and climate change. These research projects, funded by the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., where Drennen is also a senior staff economist, have been presented to members of Congress to facilitate analysis of the economic and environmental trade-offs associated with various energy options.

Since 2003, Drennen has been part of an interdisciplinary team at Sandia National Labs exploring options for hydrogen. Drennen and his team developed a computer simulation to explore the multiple ways to produce hydrogen, as well as determine the cost, accessibility and other factors associated with each production method. The overall goal is to figure out the most effective and cheapest way to make hydrogen a viable energy source. A book, based on this research, "Pathways to a Hydrogen Future," was published by Elsevier Press in October 2007.

As a teacher, Drennen's ability to relate his expert research to the general public, national media and other professionals comes naturally. In recent years, his calculations have been used to launch the nation's latest innovations in energy use for solid-state lighting. In July 2001, Drennen's paper titled "A Market Diffusion and Energy Impact Model for Solid-State Lighting" was used in support of Senate Bill 1166, a $480 billion bill to fund "The Next Generation Lighting Initiative Act."

Drennen is the author of more than 20 publications that were produced in collaboration with various colleagues, including "Who Will Fuel China?," "The Kyoto Protocol and International Trade: the Carbon Loophole," "Solar Power and Climate Change Policy in Developing Countries," and "Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change."

A professor of economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Drennen holds a Ph.D. in resource economics from Cornell University, a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Drennen in the News

Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications,
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York.

Phone: (315) 781-3540.

After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.