Today, more than ever, we face unprecedented global energy challenges. We find ourselves in a state of continued economic uncertainty confronted with the challenges of meeting growing energy demand, the increasing threat of irreversible climate change, providing a secure, safe and affordable energy supply, bringing access to energy to billions and sustaining our environment. How do we successfully tackle these challenges and transition to a sustainable, low-carbon energy future? The Tufts Energy Conference (TEC) 2012 moved beyond debating these known energy issues and focused on solutions.
We discussed pivotal questions such as: What role will fossil fuels play as part of a diverse and secure low-carbon energy mix? What policies and regulatory measures can be employed for upgrading the safety and security of existing and planned nuclear facilities? How do developing countries plan to meet growing energy demand while at the same time alleviating poverty, sustaining the environment and addressing climate change? In the U.S., how should the role of the government and the private sector evolve to close the financing gap for renewable energy? What are the new management approaches being developed to address the trade-offs between water consumption and energy production?
TEC 2012 brought together policymakers, scholars, business leaders, professionals and students to exchange ideas on the most promising solutions to our most pressing energy challenges.
Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Senior Fellow with the United Nations Foundation
Dr. El-Ashry is Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation. He has served as CEO and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which he helped to establish, from 1994 to 2003. He has also served as Chief Environmental Adviser to the President and Director of the Environment Department at the World Bank, as Senior Vice President of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and as Director of Environmental Quality at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Dr. El-Ashry received his B.S. Degree with honors in 1959 from the University of Cairo and M.S. (1963) and Ph.D. (1966) degrees in Geology from the University of Illinois. He is the editor and co-author of four books and has published or presented more than 200 papers.
Dr. El-Ashry is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Third World and African Academies of Sciences and is listed in American Men and Women of Science and Men of Achievement. He has received a number of national and international honors and awards including the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award, Champions of the Earth and the Haub Prize for International Environmental Diplomacy. He serves on the Boards of a number of not-for-profit organizations including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Resources for the Future. He is also Chairman of Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).
Kevin Book, Managing Director, ClearView Energy Partners LLC
Kevin Book is Managing Director at ClearView Energy Partners LLC. His research and analyses tackle the controversial, inscrutable and hard-to-quantify questions at the core of U.S. and international energy policy trends.
Mr. Book appears frequently within financial and industry media and has delivered testimony before House and Senate committees on several occasions. He also actively participates in policy forums convened by academia, think tanks and industry groups, including recent contributions to the National Petroleum Council study regarding prudent development of North American oil and gas resources and the Brookings Institution task force concerning liquefied natural gas exports.
Mr. Book worked previously as Senior Vice President of Energy Policy, Oil and Alternative Energy Research at a national investment bank. He holds a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA in economics from Tufts University.
Barbara Kates-Garnick, Massachusetts Undersecretary for Energy, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Energy Undersecretary Dr. Barbara Kates-Garnick’s experience has spanned public and private arenas in the energy, regulatory and public policy sectors.
Dr. 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. At New York University, she created a successful proposal for the $1.5 million New York City Accelerator for Clean and Renewable Energy, a showcase for clean energy technology. She has also served as a consultant to Con Edison, and on a team revising New York City’s sustainability plan, known as PlaNYC.
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. She is also a former assistant secretary in the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs, where she managed various aspects and budgets of the Public Utilities Division and the Department of Energy Resources – both of which now falls under EEA and will be part of her portfolio of energy agencies and programs.
Dr. 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. She also founded the New England office of New Energy Ventures, a successful electric supplier that now operates nationally as Constellation NewEnergy.
Dr. 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.
HIGH VOLTAGE LITHIUM ION BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
WILL SALISBURY, CHRISTOPHER JACKSON, BRENNON COSTELLO, TREVOR BABBITT
The Tufts Hybrid Racing Team is an undergraduate student organization that participates in an international competition to design, build and compete high-performance hybrid and electric vehicles. We will debut a brand new vehicle this year, the THR12, that integrates cutting edge mechanical, electronic and energy storage technology. The team is an interdisciplinary collaboration between mechanical, electrical, computer, environmental and software engineering disciplines, among other groups. The THR12 is a parallel-hybrid design that uses 70 Lithium-Polymer batteries for electrical energy storage. While power and energy dense, these cells must be managed by complex, expensive electronic devices called Battery Management Systems (BMSs). The TEC funds were used to purchase and integrate a BMS, which, after a year of fabrication is ready to assemble and integrate into the THR12’s high voltage power train.
WIND TURBINES AND SOLAR COOKERS IN ZIMBABWE
JONAH KADOKO, KRISTEN JOHNSON
The project idea was to research low-cost, sustainable and renewable energy technologies that can be used in Zimbabwe. The focus was on wind and solar thermal energy, which utilize locally available materials. The project partnered with an organization called USAP Cares (United States Achievers Program) based in Zimbabwe. The goal in the partnership was to conduct field research on the use of wind turbines in local Zimbabwean communities. As of 2012, they had four student partners, led by an experienced social worker, who visited (during the week of March 17th) a community that once had a wind turbine in Rusape, Zimbabwe.