Thursday September 8, 2011
For the first forum of this year, we are delighted to have as our guest Stephen R. Connors, a member of the Energy Initiative at MIT. Steve will summarize their latest analysis and work "Getting to Plug and Play in Renewables: Challenges and Opportunities for Clean Energy during the Economic Doldrum".
Recent US and European pushes towards renewables, efficiency, smart grids and electric mobility have slowed with the economy, government budget crises, and a lack of political momentum.
While unfortunate, it is actually a good time to step back and take a look at what we need to do get to the (very) high levels of renewables, smart efficiency, and other clean energy options required for a sustainable future. "Renewables Done Right" has become even more important since other low- or no-carbon options such as nuclear and sequestration of CO2 will likely not play as central a role as thought just a year ago.
In addition to investments in new clean energy technologies, there are some very important actions that are needed to ensure the rapid and responsible deployment of renewables and other clean energy technologies. Such integrated solution happen at local and regional levels, in parallel to national policies and international agreements.
Steve will share his perspectives on energy opportunities based upon recent and ongoing work in integrated energy systems for the Azores, Portugal, the emerging US Offshore Wind wind industry, and the recently completed MIT Future of Natural Gas study.
Mr. Connors will review these trends, and highlight recent MIT-related research in integrated renewables, smart grids and storage, and electric vehicles. Following his presentation there will be an active Q&A session focused on constructive next steps.
Location: First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist; 3 Church Street, Harvard Square
Time: Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; Presentation begins at 7:30 p.m