From Vulnerability to Resilience

On April 1st, I was at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference which was hosted around the topic of the Anthropocene. This was the first international level academic conference I’ve attended and I think its an experience every pre-candidature student must have. The quality of conversations draws you in even when you have a throbbing head ache on a Friday night. The experience allows to you gauge whether, if at all, academia and the intellectual environment it engenders is for you, and if so, it allows you become aware of the scholarly circles whose conversations invigorate your intellect.

I was on a session organized by Dr. Michael Minn from University of Denver on the topic of Energy Transitions with a focus on Society. The session included post-doctoral as well as pre- and post candidature students from Manchester, Denver and Yale. The topic of my presentation was From Vulnerability to Resilience: A theoretical framework for Resilient Energy Systems based on Sociotechnical and Socio-ecological perspectives. The presentation was based on the theoretical framework for my dissertation and will be further developed into an article which will likely be published at the end of 2016 or early 2017.

One of the biggest fears standing in front of the audience is not being asked any questions indicating that your presentation was either too complex or too elementary. But my fear was quickly dispelled when I had to field a number of very interesting questions from an extremely insightful audience. I am glad I was there!

Here’s to more conference papers and conferencing!

The presentation can accessed by following this link. [Please note some graphics and formatting may be missing as the original presentation was made using MS ppt]

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MIA because another ones coming..

If not being around can be taken as a sign of getting things done then it has certainly been true with me in just this instance. I got news on my birthday of my first first author publication and I couldn’t be more elated. Hopefully, there will be several more, so fingers crossed for that! 🙂

Socio-technical evolution of Decentralized Energy Systems: A critical review and implications for urban planning and policy

Abstract

The growth of Decentralized Energy Systems (DES) signals a new frontier in urban energy planning and design of local energy systems. As affordability of renewable energy technologies (RET) increases, cities and urban regions become the venues, not only for energy consumption but also for generation and distribution, which calls for systemic and paradigmatic change in local energy infrastructure. The decentralizing transitions of urban energy systems, particularly solar photovoltaic and thermal technologies, require a comprehensive assessment of their sociotechnical co-evolution – how technologies and social responses evolve together and how their co-evolution affects urban planning and energy policies. So far, urban planning literature has mainly focused on the impact of physical urban forms on efficiency of energy consumption, overlooking how the dynamics of new energy technologies and associated social responses affect local systems of energy infrastructure, the built environments and their residents. This paper provides an interdisciplinary review on the co-evolving technical and social dynamics of DES focusing on Distributed Generation (DG), MicroGrids (MG), and Smart MicroGrids (SMG), in order to draw insights for their integration in urban planning and policy, in particular reference to climate change mitigation and adaptation planning.

Clean Energy Strategies for Urban Resilience

The presentation I gave as part of a panel on Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change at the Municipal and Regional-scale at the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Symposium became my first public presentation in America. It makes me happy, while I do realize I could have prepared a little more.

While drawing on my work as an intern at NREL, yet not relating to the organization itself, the presentation discusses the synergies that can be achieved by considering sustainability as a process to resilience, rather an a be-all and end-all proposition. At every stage of the emergency management phases as outlined by FEMA, clean energy strategies have the potential to add value imparting greater advantage than singularly focused efforts.

The presentation can be accessed by following this link