Henry Louie


Power to the People: Engineering Education and Energy Poverty Alleviation

Access to energy is requisite for a productive and stable society. However, at least 700 million people lack access to electricity. This form of energy poverty disproportionately afflicts the rural poor, many of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and subsist on less than two dollars per day. Achieving universal access to electricity within two decades is possible, but it will require investment, innovative technologies and business models and—importantly—a trained and entrepreneurial engineering workforce.

This talk provides context to the worldwide crisis that is energy poverty, and describes the double opportunity of alleviating energy poverty while tapping the interest of this globally-conscience generation of students. Experiences from electrification projects in Kenya, Zambia, Tribal Lands and elsewhere are used to illustrate key points.

Fundamentals of Off-Grid Electricity Access

This half-day tutorial covers the contextual, technical, and practical implementation aspects of off-grid electrical systems in developing countries. These off-grid systems include mini-grids, micro-grids, energy kiosks, solar home systems and solar lanterns. System architectures and components, including small-scale solar, wind, hydro, biomass and conventional generation sets, batteries and converters are covered. The mini/micro-grid design process is discussed. Pre-implementation best practices, including site assessment and considerations for business model development are discussed. The instructor draws upon his firsthand experience and contemporary research to provide attendees with the foundational knowledge needed to implement or study off-grid systems.

What Power Engineers should Know about Energy Justice, Energy Equity, and Energy Access

Worldwide, over 700 million people live without access to the electrical grid. The majority of people afflicted by this form of energy poverty live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, even in countries with nearly universal electricity access, challenges relating to energy equity and energy justice remain. This talk introduces to the audience themes of energy access, energy equity, and energy justice, and why they are more relevant than ever to power engineers. The speaker’s experience working on these issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and on the Navajo Nation are shared.

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