Leaders in Energy has grown into a global network of over 3,000 members, and each one of them has their own story to tell. At the 4th annual Clean Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza on February 23, 2018, I had the pleasure of spending some time catching up with a few attendees, including a few new Leaders in Energy members.
Archive for tag: Miriam Aczel
On February 23rd Leaders in Energy held its 4th Annual Clean Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza at the University of Maryland.
The three-part event was a great forum for attendees to learn about exciting new developments and key challenges in clean energy and sustainability. The Extravaganza kicked off with a luncheon panel for the Council on Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL) on Career Perspectives in Cleantech from Women Leaders. The event continued with an all-day exposition and cleantech exhibits, as well as a University of Maryland Showcase and a Business Showcase. The final part of the jam-packed day was an evening reception, generously sponsored by Lockheed Martin.
Smart meters—small, electronic devices that track and record energy consumption, and communicate information back to the electrical utility—can reduce energy use by empowering consumers with the ability to monitor energy use and make better choices. Smart meters are an upgrade to outdated analog meters because they automatically record information in real time, rather than requiring someone to manually record and transmit the collected data.
There are significant advantages to smart meters, both for utility companies and for energy consumers. Smart meters record electricity usage and provide real-time data that can help balance electricity usage while reducing the number of blackouts. They eliminate the need for cumbersome monthly meter readings. Smart meters also can enable dynamic pricing, meaning they can lower or raise the price of electricity in response to demand. In addition to enabling optimization of electricity distribution and reducing power outages and grid failures, smart meters can give consumers better and more detailed reports on energy use, and empower consumers to change their energy habits to reduce energy costs.
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.
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.