Clean energy professionals and advocates will gather Thursday, November 18, to celebrate Iowa’s clean energy leadership at the Iowa Environmental Council’s (IEC) annual Bright Ideas event.
IEC will welcome Dr. Destenie Nock, a national leader in energy justice and decision analysis. Ms. Nock is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Her work is focused on identifying those experiencing energy poverty and creating optimization and decision analysis models that highlight the sustainability and equality trade-offs in energy transitions.
A recent research project by Ms. Nock and her team sought to identify who has been missed in analyzing energy poverty, such as when a low-income resident with air conditioning faces health risks during a heat event because they can’t afford to run their cooling unit.
“Energy poverty is complex and changing. For example, cooling can no longer be considered a luxury, but is a necessity for safety and health,” she said. “Many often risk their wellbeing by reducing their power use for heating or cooling in an effort to lower household costs so they can pay for other needs such as food or medication.”
“Talking about energy equity is important in Iowa, especially as we all face an increasing number of days with high temperatures each year, higher heating costs and less access to energy efficiency programs for residents,” says Kerri Johannsen, IEC’s energy program director. “As IEC calls for Iowa to operate on 100% clean energy by 2035, ensuring that the transition to clean energy benefits every Iowan is an important part of our goal.”
Additionally, IEC will present awards to Iowa individuals and businesses for their innovative approaches to advancing clean energy in Iowa:
- North Liberty-based Moxie Solar will receive IEC’s Business Innovation Award for the company’s expanding efforts to install residential, agricultural, and industrial solar across the state and around the country.
- The members of the Des Moines Citizen Task Force on Sustainability will receive IEC’s Partner in Policy award, honoring this group of Central Iowa volunteers for their years-long efforts to advance sustainability and clean energy adoption in Iowa’s capital city.
- Moms Clean Air Force Iowa organizer Karin Stein will receive IEC’s Community Champion award, recognizing her efforts to educate and engage frontline communities impacted by climate change effects.