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White Paper

Climate Change – existential challenge and opportunity. How the power industry can lead.

I was a professional in the power industry, working on energy efficiency, photovoltaics, and hybrid energy systems before moving into international development work.  I've created resiliency programs for countries already experiencing significant impacts from climate change.  This short paper suggests how the power industry can transform to play a central role in building resiliency into human society.

White Paper

Steven Smith's picture

Thank Steven for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 13, 2019 6:55 pm GMT

Thanks for a thorough and insightful paper, Steven.

The power industry is in a unique position vis-a-vis climate change. The industry could lead a revolution in the way we think about energy, what it is, and how it is used. Today much of the industry remains stuck in traditional thinking and saddled with significant debt from stranded assets

I like this take-- do you find more reasons than not to be optimistic the industry can evolve in time, or have we waited too long to make the meaningful change that's needed?

Steven Smith's picture
Steven Smith on Aug 14, 2019 8:05 pm GMT

Matt, I am very optimistic.  People in the power industry are anxious to take on this challenge.  They are creative and forward looking.  They understand where we need to go.  What holds things back is more structural - stranded assets, the normal inertia of large organizations.  But most importantly, we need strong happen because the impacts of climate change are now becoming real for the average person, hurting businesses and government alike.  I don't think it will happen until after 2020, but it is very encouraging that climate change and how we address is being discussed seriously.

As for whether or not it is too late . . . there is no way to tell.  The laws of physics are immutable.  This is the challenge of our climate crisis.  We do not yet know enough to pedict with certainty where things are headed.  All we know for certain is that we are conductig a great experiment - the results of which will affect all life on earth.  For this reason, we need to take the most conservative approach possible and stop doing harm now.  We also need to do all we can to mitigate climate change through actions outlined in this white paper, and many more.  It is a daunting task.  But if we remind ourselves that earth is our only home now and for the foreseable future, it makes absolute rational sense. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 14, 2019 9:07 pm GMT

Your optimism is contagious, Steven. Let's hope you're right!

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