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  • Destenie Nock

Energy Transitions and Sustainability: International Energy Workshop 2019

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

I'm at the international Energy Workshop in Paris talking with leaders in the energy modelling and economics world.

June 3, 2019 By Destenie Nock


Goal 7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has brought me to Paris for the International Energy Workshop, to present the work I have done in the energy transition realm. My talk focused on the tool I developed for incorporating decision maker equity preferences into the electricity planning optimization modeling framework. In August I will be expanding this work by hosting a stakeholder workshop in Ghana which will investigate the way different leaders value alternative avenues for energy transition. I am looking forward to hosting this workshop with my colleagues from the SEA-Africa Team.

During the conference I was able to hear Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella speak. He is the former UN Under-Secretary-General and CEO of Sustainable Energy for ALL (SE4All). He is also an economist from Sierra Leon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella was one of the leaders in negotiating the energy part (SDG 7) of the 17 UN SDGs, which is the key target driving the international side of my research. During his talk he reminded us that there are 4 million premature deaths due to indoor air pollution. This indoor air pollution is the result of families using fire wood as their primary means of cooking. Indoor air pollution kills more people than malaria and tuberculosis combined, meaning that it could be considered a silent tsunami.

In Sierra Leone there is also still a huge problem with infant and mother mortality. It is the result of mothers delivering their babies in the afternoon and the power going out at the hospital. When the power goes out you cannot sterilize the equipment, it is difficult to stop excessive bleeding, and if the infant has problems the life supporting equipment will just be sitting there. In our modern society electricity has become thread the connects poverty alleviation, clean cooking, and health.

This picture shows a pregnant woman gather fire wood to cook for her family after working in a field all morning.

He called for greater cooperation in the energy transition. I think that many times people choose their favorite energy technology and say that ____(insert favorite technology here)__ __ should be the key technology in energy transition. I believe that it will be the combination of technologies that get us there. I believe each country has its strengths in terms of the resources and a successful energy transition will be the result of harnessing those strengths.

Other notable talks include Dr. Zana Cranmer who has done work on equity impacts of new low carbon technologies, and Dr. Delavane Diaz from the Energy and Power Research Institute (EPRI) who discussed her work on modeling and analysis involving the social cost of carbon.

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Note about the author: Destenie Nock has performed energy research for over nine years, and recently completed her PhD at UMass Amherst. Her dissertation focused on energy policy and planning in New England and Liberia. Specifically she used decision analysis and applied optimization models to investigate how decision maker preferences impact energy transition pathways. Her research interests are primarily focused on using mathematical models to understand how electricity can be used about how we can increase the social welfare of different countries.

#economics #sustainability #EnergyTransition #energy #IEW2019 #SDG7

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