Powering the Future with Renewable Energy

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: December 9, 2020) — This week on the program, we air a panel on the future of renewable energy and the need to change our energy system to combat pollution and prevent the worst effects of climate change.

Despite the many economic and social setbacks in 2020, renewable energy made significant gains during the year. The International Energy Agency reports that renewable electricity installation hit a global record in 2020, with nearly 90 percent of new energy generation coming from renewable sources. This trend puts renewables on track to displace coal as the largest source of energy by 2025.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement—which aims for net-zero emissions by 2050—alongside the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and China. However, leading experts say that even this goal may not be enough to curb dangerous global temperature rises and climate disasters in the decades to come.

Our panelists discuss these existential threats posed by climate change and the efforts to move the U.S. and Utah toward net-zero emissions. Today’s panelists include Chris Benson, associate director of sustainability and energy for University of Utah Facilities Management;  Jon Cox, vice president of government affairs at Rocky Mountain Power, Nick Goodman, CEO of CYRQ Energy, Inc.; and Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy. Moderating today’s forum is Ayrel Clark-Profitt, engagement and communication manager for the University of Utah’s Office of Sustainability.

This forum was put on in partnership with the Sustainability Office at the University of Utah.

This forum was recorded on September 21, 2020.