Events

Climate Change, Clean Energy Technologies, and Energy Security

April 30, 2009 // 3:15pm5:15pm

Smart Grid for Carbon Mitigation

Although our administration is now pushing smart grid, few people know what that means, said speaker ML Chan. In simple terms, smart grid is the convergence of information and power technologies with the goal of improving system efficiencies. Some of the benefits of smart grid are it easily incorporates renewables and micro plants onto the grid, enhances system reliability, get electricity to rural areas and offering real-time pricing to consumers so that they can change their usage. Smart grid could reduce line losses significantly and save 600 million tons of CO2.

The major barrier to smart grid is lack of a standard for communication between the different parts of the grid, which could take 7 to 8 years to develop. Additionally, although the transmission grid is already in place, Chan does not believe the culture and market in urban areas is ready for real-time pricing.

Be the Aid, not the BandAid

At Mercy Corps, the real challenge to expanding climate work into all operations was to expand the thinking of people working in conflict areas to understand that climate change was more than Hurricane Katrina. Climate change affects past programming and future plans. Luckily, in many cases there are overlapping challenges. For example, look at youth and their job prospects, then look at agriculture disintegrating and the youth problem will get worse. Climate change is not Katrina, but a force multiplier on all of our programming.

Although supporters want to educate, that is not a priority of vulnerable populations. Instead, programs need instead to balance climate work with livelihood development and economic benefits. One example of how Mercy Corps has integrated climate into seemingly unrelated work is a project on health and poverty in Indonesia. The project has shifted to looking at subsidence and adaptation to rising sea levels.

Now Mercy Corps has a 20 to 30 year strategic plan and mandates climate risk assessment on all projects. Long term sustainability must be built government and private sector partners.

 
Event Speakers List: 
  • Joint U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean Energy and Quantra Technology, LLC
Back to top
 

Upcoming Events

Experts & Staff

  • Roger-Mark De Souza // Director of Population, Environmental Security and Resilience, Wilson Center
  • Sandeep Bathala // Senior Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Katharine Diamond // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Benjamin Dills // Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Lauren Herzer // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • John Thon Majok // Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Schuyler Null // Web Editor and Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
  • Meaghan Parker // Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Sean Peoples // Multimedia Producer and Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Geoffrey D. Dabelko // Senior Advisor, Environmental Change and Security Program
  • Ruth Greenspan Bell // Public Policy Scholar
  • William Krist // Senior Policy Scholar
  • Louise Lief // Public Policy Scholar
  • John W. Sewell // Senior Scholar

Wilson Center Photo Gallery

Browse or share photos from the Wilson Center’s events.

To Attend an Event

Unless otherwise noted:

Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.