Smart Cities, Microgrids, and EVs at CMU’s Energy Week

This is a guest post from Anna Siefken, Associate Director for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at CMU’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

CMU Energy Week

Event at the Energy Innovation Center. Photo: Green Building Alliance

Buildings worldwide use 40 percent of our energy, but why isn’t that use decreasing faster with all that the industry knows? It’s pertinent questions like this that nationally-recognized thought leaders and decision makers will be discussing at Carnegie Mellon University Energy Week 2018, April 4 through 6.

On April 4, experts including Green Building Alliance Executive Director Dr. Aurora Sharrard, will serve on a panel entitled “Driving the Built Environment to Higher Performance with Energy Efficient Technologies and Innovation.” On April 5, Don Anderson, senior managing director and chief sustainability officer at The Blackstone Group, a New York-based investment firm, will take the stage at 5:00 p.m. to hit on trends and insights in energy innovation.

In 2014, Anderson told Lodging Magazine, “The easiest way to make our investors happy and improve our own companies and reduce our environmental impact was to go after energy cost savings. For me, that kept it simple. Throughout my career, this has made sustainability more real.”

In the last decade, the speed at which innovations and challenges are appearing in the energy sector has accelerated. New—and not so new—concepts have become part of our everyday discussions, especially how they could be incorporated into existing or new business models. These include energy efficiency; electric vehicles; LEDs; distributed generation; the Internet of Things; smart cities; microgrids and energy storage—among multiple others.

So, what innovations and research are currently under development? How will the energy sector incorporate them? How will business models change? What new concepts will be involved in the discussion in the coming years?

For one, the impact of connected lighting, says newly-named CEO of Philips Lighting, Chris White, who will address the lunchtime session April 6 from 11:15 to 12:30 p.m.

“The proliferation of connected lighting is generating new insights and benefits into how people, places and devices interact,” White said in a recent press release. “The tangible benefits of lighting today and the immense value of connected lighting are accelerating dramatically to have an ever more positive impact across homes, businesses and communities.”

Check out Carnegie Mellon Energy Week 2018 to join the conversation. The symposium is free and open to the public and takes place in Pittsburgh, PA. 

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