New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Energy Conversion and Conservation
In the early 1990’s engineering professors at the University (name left out intentionally) began broadening their scope of actions by actively promoting and supporting novel and alternative energy options within professional societies, and among policy makers and government officials (local and state). This paper presents recent efforts and the progression of the involvement of two engineering professors in policy creation and evaluation using sustainable energy as the focus. Collaborations with colleagues from the Social Sciences were indispensable as well as the creation of a university energy institute. The discussion begins with a description of a traditional university-based consulting effort for a state agency that had key participation from graduate students. Courses on energy policy and social/ethical issues delivered to graduate and undergraduate students are described, including a synchronous web delivery of the policy course to law students. This energy policy entrepreneurship was taken to the real world with the creation and leadership of a multi-sector energy roundtable, through renewable energy projects in communities and participation in energy-related public hearings with undergraduate students. Two engineering professors delved in the energy policy process even further with their participation in the governing board of the state electric utility and as advisors to the Governor. All these policy actions from engineering professors and students played a key role in the passing of a comprehensive electric sector reform in May 2014. The paper also presents university education efforts (supported by a DOE grant) that provide the electric sector workforce and stakeholders with tools and knowledge needed to implement the reform mandated by law. The paper concludes with lessons learned by these policy experiences, including a reflection on the background required for effective energy policymaking participation, as well as results from an assessment instrument used once the professors returned to the university.
O'Neill-Carrillo, E., & Irizarry-Rivera, A., & Ortiz, C., & Perez-Lugo, M. D. (2016, June), The Role of Engineers as Policy Entrepreneurs toward Energy Transformations Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27008
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