Yale Business Center Hosts Inaugural Clean Energy Conference

In April, Yale’s inaugural Clean Energy Conference will feature distinguished panelists, speakers and alumni in conjunction with Yale’s Center for Business and Environment and several Yale Professional Schools.

Halyn McKenzie

11:09 p.m., February 15, 2022

Collaborating journalist


Joshua Baehring, staff photographer

Yale’s inaugural Clean Energy Conference will bring together minds from diverse fields to take an interdisciplinary approach to discussions surrounding energy in justice, finance, technology, politics and careers.

The Yale Center for Business and Environment and Yale School of Management will launch the Yale Clean Energy Conference in collaboration with students from Yale College, Yale School of the Environment, Yale Law School and Energy Sciences Institute. Taking place April 1-2, this event will feature guest speakers, panels, breakout groups, and discussions from alumni from a variety of companies, organizations, and several distinguished Yale alumni. The first day of the conference will be held in person for Yale students, faculty, and staff at the OC Marsh Lecture Hall in the Yale Science Building. Speakers will meet virtually to cover topics in multiple clean energy-related departments. The second day of the conference will be online. It will cover career-oriented topics and will be more tailored to participants’ interests.

“[Our goal is] to make this all about clean energy because, you know, that’s something that YSE and Yale as a whole really value: the sustainable and just transition to clean energy for the benefit of the world, people and wildlife found there,” said Julia Nojeim. ENV ’21, clean energy coordinator for the CBEY. “The inspiration was really to create a conference that was created by and for students, faculty and staff, but also open to the general public as well as to make this accessible, to spread the news and hopefully inspire other people around the world to clean up. energy too. »

Students from Yale College and the university’s vocational schools are collaborating with Nojeim on the project. These organizations have helped organize panels and suggest topics for discussion, as well as finding speakers.

Nojeim added that clean energy “is the way of the future” and that Yale is uniquely positioned to lead and implement changes in the transition to cleaner energy sources.

“It’s really important to bring people together to talk about clean energy,” Nojeim said. “At Yale, we have great minds and the next generation of clean energy leaders. … We just really want to inspire and engage people to be leaders in this clean energy transition so that it’s fair and sustainable – so that we can positively benefit the world.

Christopher Wayland SOM ’22, co-leader of the SOM Energy Club, helps organize two panels presented on the first day. These panels will focus on project financing and energy storage innovation.

Wayland acknowledged the stressful process of planning the panels, having also participated in the process last year. One of the topics Wayland focuses on is power purchase agreements, which are important for the construction of large-scale projects. Daniel Gross ’92 ENV ’98 SOM ’98, a lecturer at Yale Law School and the School of Environment and director of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Funds, leads this panel.

“He teaches this really great course called Global Energy Project Finance at SOM,” Wayland said. “It’s always overbooked. Students love it. . . and he’s fantastic at explaining very typical concepts so they’re easy for everyone to understand.

The conference will also feature opening and closing remarks from guest speakers, including Shalanda Baker – Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Development within the U.S. Department of Energy – who will discuss the equity and sustainability of the clean energy transition. . The featured moderator is Richard Kauffman SOM ’83, lecturer in the practice of business management at the School of Management and chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Isabel Harrison ENV ’22, a member of the YSE Energy Student Interest Group, helps plan a panel titled “Grid of the Future: Infrastructure Modernization & Expansion of the US Electricity System.” This panel includes private sector leader Michael Terrell ENV ’01, Google’s chief energy officer, and Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

“Yale has an incredible reputation for our academic offerings focused on justice, finance, technology, and clean energy policy, and our students and alumni include many leaders in the clean energy field – a space which is growing tremendously as we face the threat of climate change,” Harrison wrote in an email to the News. “I see the conference as a space to bring people together from across the university and beyond to learn together and develop relationships that lead to future collaboration.”

CBEY and its cosponsoring organizations worked with campus health and safety representatives to ensure members of the Yale community can attend the event in person.

Other distinguished Yale alumni in attendance include Ben Bovarnick ENV ’18, Howard Chang ENV/SOM ’12, Ali Cooley ENV/SOM ’12, Katie Dykes ’99 LAW ’06, and Nicole Sitaraman ’00.

The Yale Center for Business and Environment was co-founded by the School of the Environment and the School of Management in 2006.