The Duke Smart Home began as an idea proposed by a student (Mark Younger, E'03)--and took form with support from leaders at the Pratt School of Engineering and Duke University. Conceived as a living laboratory for students’ technology ideas, the house at 1402 Faber St. has grown into a hub of sustainability and innovation for both Duke students and the Durham community during its first decade. And the Duke Smart Home Club, which the Energy Initiative is proud to support, offers all Duke students grants, resources, and guidance for design projects.
A new policy brief by Jonathan Phillips (Director, Energy Access Project at Duke), Hannah Girardeau (Program Coordinator, Energy Access Project at Duke), and student Harry Masters (MEM' 18) outlines the energy financing gaps in emerging markets and analyzes how the new tools and authorities proposed under the BUILD Act legislation would equip the U.S. development finance institution to respond to those financing needs.
In spring 2018, the Duke University Energy Initiative and Global Energy Access Network supported the Nicholas School of the Environment Energy Club to organize a trip to Ocracoke Island, NC. Their aim? To learn about the island's microgrid, one of the first in the state. Here's what the students (from four schools across Duke and seven countries) discovered.
Professor Avner Vengosh (Nicholas School of the Environment)—an expert on coal ash's environmental effects—explains concerns regarding the proposed policy changes in the 2015 Final Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
An interdisciplinary team of Duke students undertook a project to help the rural Mexican community of Playa Grande to develop a renewable energy strategy and a business plan for sustainable ecotourism. The team included Nicholas School of the Environment Ph.D. student Ruxandra Popovici, Pratt School of Engineering graduate students Emilio Blanco Gonzalez and Adam Cullen, and undergraduate Matheus Dias to Playa Grande. The team's work was supported by a Duke Support for Interdisciplinary Graduate Networks (D-SIGN) grant from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.
Michaela Stith, who graduated from Duke University in 2018 with a major in environmental science and policy and a minor in marine conservation, has been named as one of three 2018-2019 Hart Leadership Fellows. The Hart Leadership Fellows Program supports Duke graduates in doing 10-month community-based projects, developing their understanding of ethical leadership as they encounter the social and political complexities of their fieldwork. Stith will spend her fellowship year working with the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat in Norway, conducting a research project about the policy perspectives of indigenous people affected by climate change.
Learn more about an oral history project led by Duke University Energy Initiative postdoctoral associate Jonathon Free in West Virginia and Kentucky. As part of the Franklin Humanities Institute's Story+ program, a team of four undergraduate students is joining Free this summer to interview coal miners and their families about their experiences with coal mining and their thoughts on how their communities might best prepare to meet the challenges of the future.
The Duke University Energy Initiative has announced its inaugural cohort of Energy Data Analytics PhD Student Fellows: Bohao Huang (PhD student in electrical and computer engineering), Qingran Li (PhD student in the University Program in Environmental Policy), Edgar Virguez (PhD student in environment), and Tianyu Wang (PhD student in computer science). The new program, affiliated with Duke's Energy Data Analytics Lab and supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is intended to prepare next-generation scholars who can deftly wield data in pursuit of accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean energy systems.
Researchers affiliated with Duke University's Energy Data Analytics Lab (Kyle Bradbury, Bohao Huang, Jordan Malof, & Artem Streltsov) teamed up with World Resources Institute researchers Johannes Friedrich and Colin McCormick as part of the spring 2018 GBDX for Sustainability Challenge. The competition, sponsored by Digital Globe with support from Amazon Web Services, named five finalist teams two months of access to the Geospatial Big Data platform (GBDX) and 100 PB imagery library to develop a machine learning solution for one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Duke/World Resources Institute team focused on fine-tuning machine algorithms that can be used to detect renewable energy infrastructure in high-resolution satellite imagery.
Is energy the “golden thread” that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability? To answer this question, the Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative (SETI), a Duke-based international network, set up a systematic review of nearly 77,500 papers over three years. In this Brookings Institute blog post, Duke researchers Marc Jeuland (Sanford School of Public Policy), Jonathan Phillips (Energy Access Project at Duke), Subhrendu K. Pattanayak (Sanford School of Public Policy), Hannah Girardeau (Energy Access Project at Duke), and Faraz Usmani (Energy Initiative Doctoral Student Fellow) describe their findings, which reveal a striking gap between what is being evaluated by scholars and the types of programs, projects, and policies being implemented in low-income countries.
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