Whiting-Turner Lecture: Will clean energy take our economy to the cleaners?

Thursday, May 12, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Lecture Hall, 1110 Kim Engineering Building

The reception will begin at 4:30 pm, and the program will begin at 5:00 pm.

In 2009 when the Obama–Biden ticket was inaugurated into office, they set out to accomplish the following aspirational goals:

  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade systems to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% of 2005 levels by 2050;
  • Save more oil than we import from the Middle East and Venezuela by 2019;
  • Ensure 10% of our electricity comes from renewables in 2012 and 25% by 2025;
  • Put one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015; and
  • Create five million jobs by investing $150 billion over 10 years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean-energy future.

And in the 2011 State of the Union address, the President put forth a goal to reach 80% clean electricity by 2035. The Office of the Under Secretary for Energy at the US Department of Energy put together a plan to realize these goals, along with the cost of attaining 80% clean electricity by 2035. This talk will summarize this "Strategic Technology Energy Plan (STEP)" and progress made on achieving this plan to date, and highlight the unique role of run-of-river hydroelectric power generation in carrying out STEP.

Speaker Bio

Kristina M. Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC, a clean-energy infrastructure company focused on building and operating hydropower plants in North America. Cube Hydro is backed by ISquared Capital with $900MM in equity and currently operates fifteen plants on eight rivers in six eastern states.

Prior to Cube Hydro, Dr. Johnson served as Under Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. As Under Secretary, she was responsible for unifying and managing a broad $10.5 billion Energy and Environment portfolio, including an additional $37 billion in energy and environment investments from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Previously, she was Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University from 2007 to 2009, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University from 1999 to 2007, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Kristina is a Member of the Board of Directors of AES Corporation, Cisco Systems, Boston Scientific, and GE’s Ecomagination. She is a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Institute and on the Board of Visitors of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the Ohio State University College of Engineering, the Ryan Institute for Energy and the Environment at the National University Galway, the Austrian Institute of Technology, and the Stanford Epicenter for Entrepreneurship.

A Fulbright Faculty Scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and a NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, Dr. Johnson received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University and has honorary degrees from Trinity College, Dublin, Tufts University, McGill University, and the University of Alabama at Huntsville. She is a member of NAE, fellow of the OSA, IEEE, SPIE, AAAS, and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers. She was awarded the Dennis Gabor Award for Creativity in Modern Optics, the John Fritz Medal, considered the highest award given in the engineering profession, and has been inducted into the U.S. Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Academy of Inventors, the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, the Women in Information Technology Hall of Fame, and the Small Business Technology Council Hall of Fame (2010). She holds 119 U.S. and International patents and has published 142 refereed publications.

RSVP: http://go.umd.edu/2016W-TJohnson

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