Is Climate Change a Security Issue?

Is Climate Change a Security Issue?

There is a significant yet still under-researched connection between climate change and security-related risks. The frequency of extreme weather events, including flooding, severe droughts and other associated impacts of global warming are contributing to the reduction of crop yields, diminishing water resources, and ultimately impacting human livelihood. In some cases, these events have contributed to the migration of ‘climate refugees’ in order to meet their basic human needs, including access to water, food, electricity, and shelter. As a result, climate change is increasingly entering the policy arena as a significant security issue.

Recent Scientific Advancements Show New Connections Between Climate Change and Hurricanes

Recent Scientific Advancements Show New Connections Between Climate Change and Hurricanes

With Hurricane Florence making landfall in the Carolinas, Super Typhoon Mangkhut headed for the Philippines, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria fresh in our minds, many are asking what role climate change is playing in these disasters.
Scientists have known for years that global warming can exacerbate storms. But our understanding of the connection between hurricanes and climate change has evolved significantly in just the past year.

12 Countries Sign Historic Agreement Guaranteeing Environmental Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

12 Countries Sign Historic Agreement Guaranteeing Environmental Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

Air pollution can threaten the health and well-being of entire communities. Perhaps no one knows this better than villagers from Quinteros and Puchuncaví, Chile.
The two towns have been dealing with air pollution from nearby industrial parks since the 1970s. High levels of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter have damaged crops and sickened children, elderly people and animals. While the government has prepared a decontamination plan, there have already been at least two more air pollution episodes just this year that affected local schools and communities.

GREEN LEADERS RETREAT is JUNE 8th! Accelerating Local Community Solutions Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals

GREEN LEADERS RETREAT is JUNE 8th! Accelerating Local Community Solutions Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals

By Janine Finnell, Executive Director, Leaders in Energy On Friday, June 8th, 2018, green leaders from across the Washington Metro region will explore how to...

Is the Electrical Grid moving back to the 1880’s?

Is the Electrical Grid moving back to the 1880’s?

The electrical grid is the largest tangible network created by humankind. It all started in 1880’s, when energy was produced very close to end users, usually big industrial facilities. After 150 years of development, the world created incredible infrastructure to assure electricity supply almost anywhere. Since then, electrical grids have been expanding and embracing more generation units and end-users while covering extensive areas. That pattern, once obvious and most practical, became outdated. Overloaded electrical grids are difficult to maintain, unstable and, in case of infrastructure damage, extremely time-consuming to restore.

On September 20th, 2017, when Hurricane Maria crashed into Puerto Rico, about 95% of the island lost electricity. This energy crisis demonstrated how non-resilient the current grid is. Extreme weather events crippled the entire island. It could have been significantly mitigated - if not avoided - if Puerto Rico had developed independent microgrids. Downscaling the electrical grid by creating dispersed microgrids would increase reliability and resiliency in the electricity supply.

Leaders in Energy 2017 Year in Review

Leaders in Energy 2017 Year in Review

In 2017 Leaders in Energy continued to mature in its mission to build a community of leaders and a global action network to advance clean energy and sustainable solutions for a more sustainable energy system, economy, and world.

Our membership continued to grow in the Washington DC area, with 1,500 members on our mailing list, in addition to our LinkedIn group with over 2,900 members. We have a presence in most major U.S. metropolitan areas and over 100 countries.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Janine Finnell and our Board, Team Members and Advisors, the organization has provided important forums for clean energy and sustainability in the DC area, as well as nationally and globally. Our events last year came at a time of immense change and new threats, but also new opportunities to cement the transition to a green economy.

Microgrids: Distributed Energy and Resilience

Microgrids: Distributed Energy and Resilience

Over a month after Category 5 Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico causing catastrophic damage, much of the island is still without power. The storm knocked out power to almost all of the commonwealth. Homes, schools, hospitals, and other critical services and infrastructure were left without power. Even now, only a fifth of residents have power.

Microgrids may provide the means to reduce vulnerability—and improve resilience—in the wake of a changing climate and increasing risk of natural disasters.

Microgrids reach a tipping point

Microgrids reach a tipping point

Federal and local government and industry professionals discussed microgrid technologies and trends at a forum on October 19, 2017 at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). The event was cohosted by Leaders in Energy and Resilient Virginia and sponsored by EEI, eSai LLC, and Microgrid Knowledge.

The utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is increasingly seen as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability and security in an age of intense weather events and cybersecurity threats.

Resilience in small packages

Resilience in small packages

Cyberattacks, natural disasters, including flooding, snow and ice storms, droughts, in addition to aging infrastructure, and other factors all lead to vulnerability in a system faced with increasing demand. When one part of this complex system fails, as can happen when a storm knocks down a wire or pole, other parts are affected. Enter the microgrid—a local energy distribution system that offers backup generation if the central grid fails.

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