On March 23, 2017, Institute Director Ronen attended the 40th National Conference of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) and spoke on spirited panel on “Energy Innovation and Technology: The Consumer Influence.”
The discussion focused on the rapidly evolving innovations and technologies that are changing and influencing the electricity industry and consumers of electricity. Speaking to an audience of over 100 energy industry professionals, Director Ronen use a number of stunning statistics to highlight recent trends in solar energy and job growth. His remarks also explained how solar would likely have a profound and disruptive impact on today's centralized grid model that most participants had spent their careers in. Professor Ronen remarks also focused on some of the challenges of getting the benefits of solar energy to lower-income communities.
The panel was moderated by John Jimison, Senior Advisor to the Energy Future Coalition, and other panels included noted energy experts Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy, and Kate Marks, Office Director for State, Local & Tribal Policy Analysis, Office of Energy Policy & System Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy.
Established in 1977, the AABE is an association founded and dedicated to ensuring the input of African Americans and other minorities into the discussions and developments of energy policies regulations. With over 40 chapters located in states, metropolitan areas and college campuses around the country, the Association uses the expertise of their members to analyze energy policy and serve as a resource for community leaders, consumers, policymakers and regulators on the impact that these policies have on underrepresented communities.