RISE 2019 Conference

Transforming University Engagement In Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Alternative Energy: Disasters as Windows of Opportunity for Alternative Energy Pathways


Time: 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM, November 19

Location: Standish Room - Science Library Room 330

From Hurricane Maria to the Sonoma wildfires, the major breakdown of electrical energy systems is at the center of cascading failures of every critical service to society (communications, watr, transportation, food, health, etc.). In the search for resilient electrical systems, we have focused on “building back better” the physical and technical aspects leaving the social dimensions intact. This panel shows that disasters can become windows of opportunity for energy transitions.  However, it will also show that the experience with those cases demonstrate that sustainable reconstructions require the destruction of very resilient institutions such as political capture, centralized fossil fuel regimes, and 19th century governance models. This panel will explore the ways in which universities can play a more effective role as agents of change in pre and post disaster environments towards sustainable energy transitions.