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Power Down- Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

January 25, 2016
Cornelia Colijn

In its second year, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy is changing the energy landscape and providing a forum for discussion on critical energy and policy issues. We sat down with Cornelia Colijn, Deputy Director at the Kleinman Center, to learn more about how Kleinman is helping Penn power down. Below is an edited excerpt of our discussion.

Green Campus Partnership: What is the Kleinman Center?

Cory: Our mission is to be an incubator for energy policy, innovation, and its application. We create opportunities for students, researchers, and energy leaders to debate diverse viewpoints, explore options, and develop agendas for decisions and action.


GCP: We’re excited to have the Kleinman Center as one of our partners this year. Power Down 2016 asks Penn to “discover ways to save”. How does the Kleinman Center help us discover?

Cory: Our vision is that the Kleinman Center is an incubator where not only ideas but also solutions are discovered. A place where students are coming together with faculty to discuss projects and ideas, whether they are students who know the field or are discovering the field of energy policy for the first time.


GCP: Could you talk about some of the events hosted by the Kleinman Center?

Cory: We have hosted academic lectures, like a talk on the local economic effects of fracking and we hosted a lunch with Albert Luu on energy financing. We’ve also hosted panel discussions geared toward the greater Penn community. We cohosted an event in November with the Penn Program on Regulation, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, the Germanic Languages Department, and Perry World House. The panel was called “Urban Action: Global Perspectives on the Dutch Climate Change Litigation” and focused on the Dutch court’s decision to hold the state responsible for protecting its citizens from the effects of climate change.

In October, we also had a big event for our inaugural Carnot Prize. The prize recognizes distinguished contribution to energy policy, through scholarship or practice. Dr. Eduardo Glandt gave an incredible lecture on the second law of thermodynamics and former Governor Ed Rendell presented the prize to our recipient Dr. Yergin. The following morning we invited a small group of students to a breakfast with Dr. Yergin.


GCP: What do you think of the initiatives Penn has taken to foster campus sustainability?

Cory: I really do feel that the Climate Action Plan 2.0 shows that Penn has made excellent progress. There are great examples in initiatives like the Century Bond program or the chilled water system or our green power purchases. Penn is doing a lot to improve energy consumption. We’re bringing energy education into the classroom, we have undergraduate programs on these topics, and we are sponsoring research on sustainability. We are embracing the challenges and turning them into opportunities.


GCP: The Kleinman Center is hosting a speaker event on February 1st as part of the Power Down Challenge. What’s that going to be about?

Cory: The February 1st event is a lecture being given by Professor Christian Gollier, the Director of the School of Economics at the University of Toulouse, which will be followed by a moderated discussion with Professor Howard C. Kunreuther, Co-Director for the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. The talk is titled “Economic, Political and Social Considerations for Universal Carbon Pricing” and Professor Gollier will discuss creating a global system for carbon pricing.

We’re also having an event on February 19th with Wharton’s Real Estate Department and with the Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR), also as part of Power Down. We’re looking at the role urban planning plays in transportation and energy consumption.


For more information about the Kleinman Center, and to register for events, please visit here.

Image Copyright: The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

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