Plugged into Energy Research lecture series

Energy is entwined in all aspects of our lives, whether at home or work, in the car or on foot, and in the wind, sun, water and plants around us. The Plugged Into Energy Research lecture series highlights cutting-edge energy research and outreach, and explores how the results of this research may affect our daily lives in the future. The goal of the PIER lecture series is to increase literacy around energy topics of concern in Rhode Island and beyond.   

Fall 2022 Schedule

Lecture A: It’s Electric! Rhode Island’s New Transportation System

Thursday, September 15, 2022, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Hope Room, Robert J. Higgins Welcome Center
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

Transportation accounts for 35% of Rhode Island’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions from vehicles requires investment and innovation in the electrification of Rhode Island’s transportation sector. Is there adequate infrastructure to aid in the electrification of the transportation sector? What policies and programs would incentivize the transition to an electric transportation system? What impacts would the electrification of the transportation sector have on consumers? Our panel representing government agencies, academic research and industry will address these concerns and others in the first lecture of our 2022 series. Free event; registration required. 

Lecture B: Stopping the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of: An evening with URI alumnus, Pat McShane ’83 and Tim Couvillion

Thursday, October 6, 2022, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Hope Room, Robert J. Higgins Welcome Center
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

In 2018, the Louisiana Coast Guard determined that an oil well that toppled in Hurricane Ivan a decade earlier was still leaking large amounts of oil. In 2019, Timmy Couvillion, owner of the New Orleans-based Couvillion Group, led the development and deployment of a sophisticated containment system to capture the flowing oil. Pat McShane, ‘83, a graduate of the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs and prominent maritime lawyer in Louisiana, will join Timmy to share their experience resisting the legal affront of a deep-pocketed oil company to engineer a solution to stop the longest running oil spill in United States history. 

Free event; registration required. 

Lecture C: Ensuring Electric Grid Reliability: Preparing for Increased Demand from the Highway to Home Heating

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Swan Hall
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

The 2021 Act on Climate set Rhode Island on the path of achieving net-zero carbon emissions economy-wide by 2050. State policymakers have identified electrification of both the transportation and heating sectors as crucial components of their effort to achieve their state’s greenhouse gas reduction objectives. To meet this target, much of our heating and transportation sectors will need to be electrified to utilize energy from non-carbon-emitting sources. Can New England achieve 100% electrification? How will electrification of the heating and transportation sectors impact Rhode Islanders? What challenges and opportunities will electrification bring about for our economy and the environment? Our panel will discuss planning, managing and monitoring to maintain the reliability of our regional electric grid as we continue on the path towards a low-carbon energy system.

Free event; registration required. 

QUESTIONS? Please contact:

Kate Venturini

Program Administrator, Mallon Center
Phone: (401) 874-4096

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