Energy Week 2020: Upheaval and Resilience

Energy Week at Duke is usually organized by seven student energy clubs across campus, with support from the Duke University Energy Initiative and the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) at the Fuqua School of Business.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Energy Week, on November 12, Duke University hosted the energy conference and partnered with GRID Alternatives to aid their mission of making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to communities on the front lines of environmental and economic injustice. GRID’s agenda during the event was to raise $5,000 to support the organization. 

GRID’s mission is to make renewable energy and job training accessible to underserved communities. Given the upheaval in 2020 thus far, Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) wanted to support an organization that uplifts communities and makes them more resilient. GRID has served families throughout California, Colorado, the Mid-Atlantic region, and tribal communities nationwide by providing renewable energy through programs like their Energy for All Program, which offers single-family, multifamily, and community solar installation services. GRID  also offers multiple levels of workforce development and service-learning opportunities, from volunteerism to in-depth solar training and paid internships.

The speakers for the conference included Founding Partner and Co-Managing Director at Material Impact Carmichael Roberts, Sidney McLaurin General Partner at Material Impact, Founder and CEO, New Fortress Energy and Fortress Investment Group Wes Edens, Chief Strategy Officer, Florida East Coast Industries, LLC Husein Cumber, and Energy and Climate Change Reporter for Axios, Amy Harder. 

Each of the speakers discussed topics that were based on clean energy and about the roles their organizations played in the industry. The webinar conducted breakout sessions where individuals who were participants spoke about various topics related to the energy industry, outlook on President-Elect Biden’s for clean energy initiative, and many others. 

In the past, Duke University students have participated in GRID's volunteer opportunities for many years through the Duke University Energy Initiative's Solar Spring Break program, where students install solar panels with Grid Alternatives for a family or community in need. Many students cite this as a pivotal moment in their energy journey and we at GPA are happy to continue supporting GRID Alternatives through our fundraising campaign.

Article written by Tasnim Hasan on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association