Day 3 of ISES 2015 kicked off with a discussion about the changing trends in the global fossil fuels market. The plenary session touched on topics such as the future role of fossil fuels in the global energy mix, the role fossil fuels play in the Russian economy, and a discussion about the US shale revolution. Several delegates stepped up during question period to challenge some panelists’ beliefs which sparked a critical debate that emanated into other sessions throughout the day.
Following the plenary session and a quick coffee break, the first set of parallel sessions for the day began. The theme of these parallel sessions was Technology and Innovation. The Second Generation Bioenergy session included a discussion about the various ways biofuels can be produced and the challenges of bringing these technologies to commercialization. The session entitled Shale Gas: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly involved a discussion about the benefits of exploiting shale gas in light of its revolution in the US coupled with the negative side effects of proliferating this resource. The third parallel session on geothermal energy gave delegates an enlightening and balanced view on this exciting technology.
After the lunch break, the much-anticipated Innovation Jam commenced with a wide array of ideas being pitched to the audience. As a Campus Coordinator for Student Energy, my two colleagues and I had the fortunate opportunity to facilitate a discussion with two tables of students interested in the campus chapter model being tested by two universities in Calgary with the ultimate goal of expanding this program globally. This collaborative initiative yielded many great ideas and opportunities to take the chapter model forward. The Innovation Jam wrapped up with many brilliant reports on what the delegates discussed at their tables.
Tailing the afternoon coffee break was the second set of plenary sessions with the theme of Global Energy Dynamics. In the Global Problems Meets Local Solutions session, panelists discussed the global nature of energy issues and how solutions on a more granular, local level can work together to solve these broad problems. The Sustainable Cities session gave an enlightening view on how big data and information and communications technology can enable city planners to design and operate highly sustainable cities. The third session discussed Indonesia’s challenges and opportunities regarding energy and sustainability.
At 8PM, the Gala dinner started with a delicious four course meal and a live band. An inspiring keynote speech was delivered by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, former President of the Maldives. Following this, a short film was presented on the use of homegrown microhydro in a rural Indonesian village to bring electrification to its citizens. Finally, the winners of the case competition were announced receiving a prize of $3,000.
Closing the day on a high note, Kali Taylor posed for a photo with Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who was holding a Student Energy membership card. Mr. Gayoom has officially joined the movement!