Archive for March, 2012

Mar 28 2012

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Want a taste of last year’s conference?

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Check out this article from the Tufts Daily to learn more about highlights of this year’s conference.

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Mar 28 2012

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Tufts Energy Conference Tickets!

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Tickets are available through tuftsenergyconference.com or through our Eventbrite page. Early-bird registration ends this Wednesday, get your tickets now!

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Mar 28 2012

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TEC Keynote Speaker Announcement

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From Marketing Director Geoffrey Finger:

 

Barbara Kates-Garnick, Undersecretary for Energy of the state of Massachusets, will be delivering a keynote at TEC 2012. Energy Undersecretary Barbara Kates-Garnick’s experience has spanned public and private arenas in the energy, regulatory and public policy sectors.

 

Kates-Garnick was appointed by Governor  Deval Patrick after serving several years as  an independent consultant in academia and  private business. Most recently, she advised  the Polytechnic Institute of New York  University on issues related to urban systems,  clean technology, energy policy and  entrepreneurship.

 

Her previous energy positions with the  Commonwealth include serving as a former  Department of Public Utilities (DPU)  commissioner and member of the Energy  Facilities Siting Board, and as a DPU director responsible for developing Massachusetts’ first natural gas deregulation policy.

 

Kates-Garnick’s private sector achievements include serving as an officer at KeySpan where, as corporate affairs vice president, she developed energy policy strategy and directed the governmental communications and community relations teams.

 

Kates-Garnick earned her PhD at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and an undergraduate degree in political science at Bryn Mawr College.

 

Kates-Garnick will be giving the closing keynote for TEC 2012.

 

Two additional keynotes will be delivered. Kevin Book, Managing Director at ClearView Energy Parters, will open the conference with a keynote speech titled “Greening up in the ‘Golden’ age of Gas.”

 

Dr. El-Ashry, senior fellow at the UN Foundation, will deliver a keynote titled “Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development.”

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Mar 27 2012

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One year after Fukushima

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Last year in March, a Tsunami led to the worst nuclear disaster in recent years. As this article shows, there were significant costs associated with the meltdown, with tens of thousands of people still unable to return to their homes today. In light of the wave of anti-nuclear sentiment that has taken hold, Japan is now deciding what its energy future will look like, as 30% of the country’s electricity currently comes from nuclear power.

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Nuclear power occupies a unique space in energy generation – on the one hand it is a low-carbon source of energy, and offers promise in the fight against climate change, while on the other hand it has been criticized for its potential to cause catastrophic damage, as well as being very expensive and requiring long-term storage for radioactive waste. What future do you see for nuclear energy? Is it an important part of a transition to low-carbon sources of energy? Is the heyday of energy from the atom already past?

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Mar 12 2012

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Fighting energy poverty with distributed electricity

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Thanks to Hannah Henderson for sending on this article from the economist. It discusses Cambridge University spin-off company Eight19′s model for bringing distributed solar energy to families in developing countries.

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Mar 08 2012

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TEC Energy Challenge Deadline – March 15th

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The Tufts Energy Conference announces the second annual Tufts Energy Competition – a celebration of innovative student-driven solutions to energy challenges. Winners will receive up to $3000 to implement their action or research project to address a key energy issue. The goals of the Tufts Energy Competition are:

+ to support students to implement projects that explore solutions to key energy issues,

+ inspire interdisciplinary research and collaboration at Tufts,

+ and provide greater visibility of Tufts engagement in energy-related disciplines and fields.

Semi-finalists will be asked to present an overview of their project at the 2012 Tufts Energy Conference and winners will be selected by the conference audience.

Apply today! http://www.tuftsenergyconference.com/energy-challenge/

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Mar 07 2012

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Tufts students participate in Department of Energy Better Buildings Case Competition

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The following paragraph was written by Michael Baskin, who participated in the DOE Better Buildings Case Competition:

The US Department of Energy (DoE) sent out a press release (below) yesterday on the Better Buildings Case Competition that took place this past Thursday-Saturday in Washington DC. The DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) held the competition under its Better Buildings Initiative, which has set the US national goal of increasing building energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. A team from Tufts University competed along with and against 18 other universities. Preparation and announcement of the competition began in early December with a conference call held by the DoE. Students volunteered to be part of the team in January, with the competition lasting the month of February and student teams meeting and working on the cases in their spare time. Tufts students were from several different schools including The Fletcher School, Engineering, and UEP, and included both graduates and undergraduates. Each university was assigned two of four real-life cases provided by private and public partners for teams to analyze and propose solutions for. Tufts was assigned the City of Houston Case and the Hotel Case. Prof. Bill Moomaw agreed to serve as an advisor to the team, in line with the DoE mandate of no more than one faculty advisor allowed for each university. Teams submitted a ten-page written proposal and a powerpoint presentation for each case, and parts of each team were able to travel to Washington DC to present their reports this past week. In an awards ceremony Friday afternoon, the DoE announced winners for Best Proposal and Most Innovative for each case, although the Tufts teams did not win in their respective cases. US DoE Secretary Chu presented the awards to the winning teams and spent close to an hour with all of the participating students answering questions. Students were also able to attend a panel discussion on municipal energy efficiency efforts Thursday evening held at the National Building Museum, were given the opportunity to tour an energy efficient hotel Saturday morning, and participate in a self-guided tour of the White House Saturday afternoon. Tufts Student travel to the competition was partially funded by a travel grant from the Tufts Institute for the Environment.

The Tufts students who participated included:

Hotel Case

Johnathon Torn (The Fletcher School)

Jack Carter (Engineering)

David Murphy (The Fletcher School)

Roxanne Tully (Engineering)

Ravi Kaneriya (The Fletcher School)

Stephanie Flores (Engineering)

Houston Case

Samantha Weaver (UEP)

Michael Baskin (The Fletcher School)

Elizabeth Treseder (The Fletcher School)

Benjamin Chamberlain (Engineering)

Winnie Wong (The Fletcher School)

Below find the DOE press release:

Secretary Chu Announces Winners of Student Competition to Promote Energy-Efficient Buildings

March 5, 2012

As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the winners of a competition that challenges collegiate students to develop and present real-world solutions to boost the energy efficiency of buildings across the country. Secretary Chu recognized the winners of the Better Buildings Case Competition, part of the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge, at an event at the White House Friday afternoon, and congratulated them for their efforts to tackle some of the most common and stubborn barriers to improving energy efficiency. The winners included Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, The George Washington University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Southern California.

Full story

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Mar 05 2012

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Fletcher Students Debate the Keystone XL pipeline

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On February 7th, on the eve of Professors Moomaw and Everett taking the stage to debate climate change and energy issues, Fletcher held its first annual student pre-debate on energy issues. Tufts Energy Conference chair and Fletcher GREEN co-chair Katie Walsh squared off against Fletcher Energy Consortium’s Kartik Misra to debate benefits and dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline, which recently had its permit  denied by President Obama. For more coverage of the debate, see the coverage here.

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Obama cited environmental concerns as a reason for denying the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Opponents have argued that, in attempting to postpone the decision, he was putting politics ahead of the national interest. What do you think? Is a concern over the lifecycle emissions of oil from Alberta’s oil sands a valid criterion for decision-making, in the absence of federal legislation governing greenhouse gases? Should these and other unconventional resources be developed?

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Mar 04 2012

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America losing its edge in Clean Energy?

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This Harvard Business Review article argues that the United States is losing its important advantage in clean energy, an advantage which it has enjoyed over several years.

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What do you think? Should the United States be using policy to attempt to defend its strong position in the world of clean energy? How important is it for this country to develop/maintain a strong clean energy manufacturing industry?

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