This year’s AEE World Energy Expo and Conference is in the books! The conference and expo provided many learning opportunities for energy professionals from all around the world.
Defining a New Energy Future
Starting with an impressive display of the sustainable development in China and the lessons learned along the way, Peggy Liu of the Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) has accelerated the adoption of green infrastructure in China. Focusing on large scale solutions and leveraging networks in both nations, JUCCCE has accelerated the adoption of smart grid technology and renewable energy sources to replace the GHG intensive coal plants that are prevalent throughout China.
As Energy Engineers and Energy Managers, we spend a lot of time problem solving, educating our colleagues, and adding value to our communities. As reiterated by former AEE President Dr. Eric Woodroof, if you can’t appeal to someone’s senses, appeal to their bottom line. Energy conservation projects consistently outperform Wall Street (or Bay Street). Energy projects typically last longer, have a higher return on investment (ROI) than other projects, are less risky, and most importantly; reduce our carbon footprint.
Conference Tracks and Meeting International Colleagues
The AEE World Energy Conference and Expo provides a unique learning and networking opportunity for energy professionals. Every region has a different priority in their local energy management plans. With so many representatives from jurisdictions all around the world, AEE World allows us to share and collaborate collectively and work towards bigger goals. Sharing with our colleagues offers everyone a chance to learn and to grow.
With over 260 presentations this year on a variety of topics (ranging from high performance buildings to emerging energy trends), AEE World provided many learning and networking opportunities.
Climate Change and The Bigger Picture
The significance of our work was emphasized by the conference being in Washington DC during the climate protests that many youths of the world are participating in.
The frustration that these climate activists are feeling is justified. Millennials and Generation Z will be the first generations to feel the impact of climate change but will be the last generations who can do something about it.
The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C warned that “global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions [must] decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050” (2018) to limit global warming to 1.5°C. To reiterate in layman’s terms, we only have 10 years to take an unprecedented amount of action to limit the damage of climate change. As members of AEE, we owe it to this next generation to continue being leaders for change.
The conference closed with the world-renowned polar explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan. Swan was the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the north and south poles. Climate change is having a measurable impact at the north and south poles. A man of action, Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Swan will be returning once again to the south pole in December 2019. He will complete this journey with only renewable energy sources.
Swan will do his best to plant this flag for the AEE at the south pole. All he asks for in return is that you do your best.
- Peggy Liu and JUCCCE
- Robert Swan and the 2041 Foundation
- Dr. Eric Woodroof and Profitable Green Solutions
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018). Special report: Global warming of 1.5 °C, summary for policy makers. Retrieved from https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/05/SR15_SPM_version_report_LR.pdf