Growth of Renewable Energy Panel and Open Discussion

When the Net Impact executive and I polled the students from the Beedie School of Business what they were most interested in regarding environmental and social sustainability issues, renewable energy consistently came up as one of the most desired areas that students wanted to learn more about. With that in mind, the Net Impact executives and I worked tirelessly to put on the event Growth of Renewable Energy: Panel and Open Discussion. To make the event really beneficial for the students, we partnered with Dr. Stephanie Bertels, professor at the Beedie School of Business, who agreed to moderate the discussion. With her help, we were able to attract three incredible speakers who each work in the renewable energy field but in different areas, such as solar, wind, run-of-river, and even tidal-power. Specifically, we were honoured to have Shannon Halliday from Instream Energy Systems, Jessica McIlroy from the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association, and Isabelle Deguise from BluEarth Renewables.

Located in the recently opened Nemesis Coffee just below the SFU Downtown Vancouver Residence and Radius, the space was a perfect venue to talk about renewable energy and sustainability initiatives as it was itself designed and built with sustainability in mind, and the coffee sourced from fair-trade organic growers. Following an introduction by owner of Nemesis Coffee, Jess Reno, the discussion began. The discussion talked about the renewable energy in British Columbia and how highly ingrained and linked the industry is with political policy, the upcoming projects from each company and the relationships and opportunities between companies and First Nations in British Columbia, and how business students may want to look more closely at the renewable energy field as a potential career route as it is a growing and emerging industry. Following the discussion and open session for everyone in attendance to ask questions, everyone was invited to network and mingle with our speakers, moderator, and other attendees and enjoy some delicious specially-cooked food and drinks.

Leaving the evening, it seemed as if though everyone in attendance had a newfound understanding, appreciation, and newfound energy for renewable energy.