for about five years, up until the summer of 2012, i had the privilege of being an annual guest speaker to an undergraduate class at GSU. a good friend of mine is a professor of environmental biology and it was his class – about 250+ students – that i would speak to. i’ve been reflecting on those talks, 1) because my friend is no longer teaching there and i’ve been considering reaching out to other schools; and, 2) because of the changes and happenings in our industry:
- advancing integration of renewables into very large markets (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/03/pjm-grid-operators-we-can-handle-30-percent-renewable-energy-integration-and-heres-how)
- physical security of the network [aka the grid] (http://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2014/2014-1/03-07-14.asp)
- network technologies becoming more mainstream [synchrophasors, state estimation, seams/JOAs, etc.]
there is always a lot happening and much of it is in the news. i wonder what questions students 2 years later would ask. when I spoke to the students in georgia (average age ~21) they were fascinated to learn about total-cost concepts of solar and wind, ‘vampire’ loads, correlation of ghg emissions to per capita consumption, and how to interpret their monthly bill from georgia power. sidebar…
in 2011 as i prepared for that year’s talk, i created a 13 question survey to guide topics. the results are here: 2011 Survey Results. it was a fun exercise: 58% of respondents were not responsible for their own electric bill (mom and dad were or electricity was included in their rent). 81% had no clue what their $/kWh rate was.
my talks are casual and engaging and these were 20-something undergrads; the class was an 8 o’clock so it had to be fun just to keep everyone awake. anyway, i received several kudos from the last talk and the slide deck was one of my better designs. it and the outline are below – as usual, i cite all my sources. if this presentation can be of use to you or you find some inspiration to reach out to students, please take it and godspeed. it is a truly rewarding experience and helps to break the misunderstandings/misconceptions of our industry.
slide deck outline
- the energy dilemma is multi-dimensional
- 60 second overview of the industry basics
- good news or bad news (everyone always picks bad first, this is a transition slide)
- power generation does have a dirty side
- power consumption in the US
- US vs. them
- there are others who consume more than us
- efficiency and waste
- the good news!
- so where do we spend our electricity?
- power consumption by game consoles (remember these are 20-somethings!)
- how to read your electric bill
- transition slide
- the myth of nuclear power and energy independence
- technologies on the horizon
- references and citations
- PPT file from 2012: GSU Talk Jun 2012
as always, my files are macro free, code free, bug free, and free-free.