Contact: Bob Nelson For immediate release
(212) 854-6580 March 2, 1999
Note to editors: Working reporters, including freelancers, may
attend the conference without charge. Untranscribed audiotapes
will be available on March 22. A conference program follows.
Providing Electricity Outside the Power Grid
Is Focus At Columbia Symposium March 15-17
Solar, Wind, Fuel Cells Are Alternatives In Developing Countries
How will a local development official know whether solar cells, a windmill or fuel cells can generate enough electricity to replace the unreliable kerosene generator that has served a rural village for decades? Soon, he or she will be able to plug local energy requirements, number of sunny days a year and local wind patterns and other data into a computer program named Homer and find out.
This and other developments will be discussed at a „Symposium on Decentralized Energy Alternatives,š March 15-17 at the Columbia Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. The symposium is sponsored by Columbia business school‚s Sustaina ble Development Initiative, the Earth Engineering Center, a component of the Columbia Earth Institute, and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Registration is at 8 A.M. in the lobby of Uris Hall on the Morningside Heights campus , 116th and Broadway.
„We‚ve located some of the top companies and individuals involved in decentralized energy and asked them to bring in the most recent technical developments, emphasizing things that haven‚t even been published yet,š said Eugenie Bietry, director of the Sustainable Development Initiative.
Providing energy services, particularly electricity, to populations in
dispersed rural areas remains one of the great challenges facing developing countries. In areas where there is no well-developed electrical system, creating one can be beset with difficulties: large capital requirements, lack of service infrastructur e and long construction periods. Even where there is an established grid, it is often unreliable and may provide power for only a few hours each day.
As a result, governments are implementing decentralized energy technologies, which use renewable, locally available resources and are environmentally sound. Much of the market for solar photovoltaic panels, for example, lies in the developing worl d. Other relevant technologies include electricity generated from wind and bio-mass resources and fuel cells.
This program includes a series of presentations and panel discussions by experts on a variety of issues including recent developments in decentralized energy technologies and services; regional and global socioeconomic issues as they apply to the u se of decentralized energy sources; and barriers facing wider use of energy-efficient, renewable technologies.
Support for the symposium has been provided by ASE Americas Inc., BP Amoco, Ballard Generation Systems, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Uncommon Sense, a nongovernmental organization based in New York City, and the United Nations.
The Sustainable Development Initiative at the Columbia Graduate School of Business works to raise the level of awareness of students and staff on issues of sustainability by encouraging research and providing information for curriculum development. It offers workshops, lectures and programs on topics related to sustainable development for a variety of audiences.
The Earth Engineering Center is the engineering component of the Columbia Earth Institute. Its objective is to direct engineering research toward industrial ecology, the reconfiguring of industrial activities with full understanding of their envir onmental consequences.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs seeks to contribute to sustainable development by undertaking statistical and analytical work, such as integrating environmental accounting into national economic statistics; by supportin g the deliberative and normative work of United Nations intergovernmental bodies; and by providing development advisory services and
managing technical cooperation projects at the request of developing countries. Registration fees are $250 for corporate affiliates and $125 for non-profits, non-governmental organizations and academic affiliates. The fee includes three continental breakfasts and three lunches. Papers presented at the symposium will be issued in a joint publication by Columbia University and the United Nations. A series of follow-up workshops on related topics is envisioned.
For further information, please contact Isaac Nesser, Sustainable Development Initiative, Columbia Graduate School of Business, (212) 854-3489, fax (212) 316-1473, or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you provide a fax number, a registration packet will be fa xed to you. A website devoted to the symposium is at http://www.gsb.columbia.edu/research/sdi/symposium.htm.
This document is available at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/pr/. Working press may receive science and technology press releases via e-mail by sending a message to email@example.com.
SYMPOSIUM ON DECENTRALIZED ENERGY ALTERNATIVES
Monday, March 15
8:00 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
8:45-9 a.m. Welcoming comments
MORNING: ENERGY NEEDS: EFFECTIVE DEMAND AND MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
9 - 10:30 a.m. Advantages and Challenges for Decentralized Energy
Russell de Lucia, President, de Lucia & Associates
Vinod Mubayi, Technical Advisor, Brookhaven National Laboratory
11 - 12:30 a.m. Renewable Energy and the Environment with Perspectives
On the Clean Development Mechanism
Christopher Flavin, Senior Vice President, Worldwatch Institute
Joel Gordes, President, Environmental Energy Solutions
12:30- 2 p.m. LUNCH
Charles F. Gay, president, ASE Americas Inc. and the Greenstar Solar Health Center
AFTERNOON: DECENTRALIZED ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
2 - 3:30 p.m. Advances in Decentralized Energy Technologies
Developments in Solar and Wind: Roger Taylor, National Renewable Energy Laboratories, U.S. Department of Energy
Fuel Cell Power Generation and Its Fit With the Emerging Sustainable Development Model: Jorge Barrigh, Ballard Generation Systems, and Ashok Gupta, Natural Resources Defense Council
4 - 6 p.m. Applications and Economics
Designing Technological Applications to Meet Development Needs:
Morris Miller, Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa, former Executive Director of the World Bank, and Deputy Secretary General, 1981 UN Conference on New and Renewable Energy, Nairobi
Economics of Decentralized Energy: Shimon Awerbuch, Independent Consultant
International Presentation: V. Bakthavatsalam, Managing Director, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency
Tuesday, March 16
9 - 10:30 a.m. Fostering Business, Commerce, Technological Partnerships
Entrepreneurship and Market Development: Bruce McCrodden, Senior Vice President, BP Amoco
Financing and Market Development: Matthew Mendis, President, Alternate Energy Development Inc. (formerly World Bank and consultant to the U.N.)
11 - 12:30 p.m. Mainstreaming Decentralized Energy: Policies and Initiatives
Karl Jechoutek, Division Chief, World Bank
Mike Niklas, Innovative Design; former president, International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
12:30 - 2 p.m. LUNCH: SPEAKER TO BE ANNOUNCED
AFTERNOON: INTERREGIONAL LINKS
2 - 3:30 p.m. Energy Efficiency
Reducing Energy Intensity through Energy and Materials Efficiency
Griffen M. Thompson, Director of Global Climate Change and Developing Country Programs, International Institute of Energy Conservation
European Energy Efficiency 2000
Ronald W. Bowes, Chairman of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe‚s Energy Efficiency Program
4 - 6 p.m. Presentations by International Participants
Zhou Fengqi, Director General, Energy Research Institute, State Development and Planning Commission, China
Manuel Martinez, Director Centro de Investigacion de Mexico, Universitad Nacional Autonomia de Mexico
Khalilou Sall, ORGARTEC, Dakar, Senegal
Ragy Farid, Technical Sector Director, New and Renewable Energy Authority, Egypt
Wednesday, March 17
9 - 11 a.m. International Presentations
Lu Weide, Director, Solar Division, China Rural Energy Development Agency
S.P. Gon Choudhary, Director, West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency
Oyuko Mbeche, Transportation Energy Planner, Nairobi, Kenya
Mohammad Berdai, Advisor to the Director of Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Rabat, Morocco
11:30 - 1:30 Panel Discussions
Technology Transfer and Joint Ventures; South-South Cooperation; Conclusions;
1:30 p.m. LUNCH: SPEAKER TO BE ANNOUNCED
This program is tentative and subject to change.