by Matthias Resch, Chair, UNA-SNY Young Profesionals European Affairs Committee and Coordinator, The Energy Project
The Young Professionals of UNA-SNY’s European Affairs Committee hosted a panel event at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Manhattan on the topic of “Renewable Energy and Policy in the EU and the US”. The evening began with an informal networking reception.
Mr. Christopher Gadomski of Bloomberg New Energy Finance started the evening with an insightful overview of geographical and sector-related data on renewable energy technologies, their application and investment trajectories.
Mr. Marty Borruso of Medesco, LLC offered his expertise in distributed energy generation and made a strong case about its application in the NYC area whilst advocating for efficiency improvements through de-centralized distribution of energy, irrespective of the source of energy in question.
Mr. Trey Taylor of Verdant Power, Inc introduced his company’s efforts to generate electric power using tidal waves in and around NYC. He convincingly presented his case for the adaptability and growth potential with various beneficial side-effects of his technology, which already is in operation in the East River and which has been granted an official FERC commercial license as of January 2012.
Prof. Johannes Urpelainen of Columbia University provided an insightful summary of the socio-economic and political realities of renewable energy policy in both the United States and in Europe, highlighting the key differences in both policies and providing an outlook, as part of the pursuant Q+A, on the upcoming Rio+20 conference in June.
The Q+A session that ensued vividly demonstrated the interest and passion with which many of the audience are engaging in issues of energy and clean technologies.
Concluding the event was Dr. David Stillman of the Public-Private Alliance Foundation, who introduced an ambitious plan to bring alternative fuels and clean cookstoves to a region in rural Haiti where his organization and partners have been working for many years.