UT Energy Symposium
"Innovating for a Clean Energy Future"
Senior Manager, Energy-Water Initiatives, Environmental Defense Fund
Thursday, November 8, 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302)
Refreshments served at 4:45 p.m.
Free and open to the public; no RSVP required.
The UT Energy Symposium welcomes Kate Zerrenner, Senior Manager of Energy-Water Initiatives in the Clean Energy Program of the Environmental Defense Fund, to give a talk titled "Innovating for a Clean Energy Future."
Speaker bio: Kate leads Environmental Defense Fund’s energy-water initiatives. She helps develop and implement strategies to promote energy and water efficiency and climate change solutions in Texas and leads EDF’s multi-year campaign to influence and enact state and national energy and water efficiency policy, including breaking down financial, regulatory and behavioral barriers. She directs regional efforts to improve options for clean energy choices that create jobs, reduce climate change impacts, water intensity and air pollution. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Smart Cities Council, Water Online's Water Intelligence Panel, the Board of Directors for South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), and as a technical advisor for the City of San Antonio SA Climate Ready process.
Prior to joining EDF, Kate worked on climate change and energy initiatives at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Defense. She holds Master’s degrees from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and the University of Glasgow, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.
Abstract: Kate Zerrenner will introduce the Fourth Wave of Environmental Innovation, highlighting innovative clean energy projects. Earlier in 2018, EDF announced that it would be the first NGO to launch a satellite, MethaneSAT, to locate and monitor methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The project is part of The Audacious Project, successor to the TED Prize, and is part of the inaugural round of world-changing ideas for which a coalition of philanthropists have contributed and helped raise $400 million and counting. MethaneSAT is the newest chapter in EDF’s ongoing effort to advance peer-reviewed science focused on oil and gas methane emissions.
Kate will also present an innovative effort EDF is participating in to remake Puerto Rico's electric grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria, including solar-powered microgrids and community resilience. The effort aims not only to rebuild Puerto Rico in a sustainable way that makes sense to local communities but to serve as a model for other coastal and island communities confronted with climate change.
The UT Energy Symposium meets every Thursday during the long semesters. Come early to attend a networking session before the talk: refreshments will be served at 4:45 p.m. in the POB Connector Lobby outside the auditorium.