NYIT Annual Energy Conference
Jun 17, 2015
by EmPower Solar
Last week, EmPower had the privilege of sponsoring the NYIT 10th Annual Energy Conference in Old Westbury. This year’s theme was Tipping Points: Energy, Water, Climate. Speakers from around the region discussed both national and local issues.
Keynote speaker (and everyone’s favorite climate scientist) James Hansen discussed three great threats to our future” loss of bio diversity, rising sea levels from melting ice, and more severe weather events due to climate change. His sobering presentation, full of data points, graphs, and photos, always returned back to one theme” saving our future. He is inspired by his grandchildren, who have been known to actively stand beside him in marches and rallies.
In another conference session, Hansen sat with Justin Gillis, Principal Environmental Science Writer & Editor at The New York Times, for an interview. Gillis’ main focus was whether or not Hansen feels he is taken seriously as a scientist due to his activism and related arrests. Hansen appears to not be worried, and has the following advice for upcoming scientists” always be objective, and establish yourself as a scientist first.
Hansen will join Citizens Climate Lobby next week at the organization’s national conference in Washington D.C. to ask for policymaker support for their keystone policy initiative” a carbon fee and dividend. Citizens Climate Lobby aims to create the political will for a livable world by empowering individuals to exercise their personal and political power. EmPower Solar, Hansen, and the Long Island Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby marched together in last fall’s People’s Climate March in New York City.
The NYIT conference also featured speakers that discussed what is happening locally with energy policy. Micah Kotch NYSERDA and Julia Bovey from the Department of Public Service discussed the State’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” plan (“REV”) and what it means for our region. There continues to be an emphasis on micro-grids, grid stability, renewable energy sources, and backup power solutions.
As always, NYIT did a fabulous job with organizing this event, and it was great to be part of such a dynamic conversation. It is a very exciting time in New York State for energy policy and EmPower is thrilled to be on the front lines of this market shift.