Issues Related to the Environment and Society
It is apparent that we, the electric power industry, are facing a new and challenging paradigm dictated primarily by environmental and social parameters. Climate change and carbon footprint drive the environmental side, while the social aspects include the needs of an ever-increasing population that conflict with expansion of the required electric supply to sustain that growth. From the expression of that reality, Hugh Rudnick presented his thoughts to the IEEE Power & Energy Magazine Editorial Board in 2011 that, after discussion, led to the approval of an issue devoted to the environmental and social issues that challenge us.
This issue, whose guest editors are a father-daughter team consisting of Hugh Rudnick of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Andrea Rudnick of the Ministry of Environment of Chile, is the result of those deliberations and offers an in-depth, global overview of the myriad problems and issue that exist in different parts of our world. In many ways, it is an introduction to what promises to remain an overriding issue for the future of the electric power industry. I am certain it also represents the first of what will become an ever-increasing theme for future issues.
In This Issue
The five articles related to the issue theme, in their order of appearance, follows. Full introductions to these articles may be found in the “Guest Editorial.”
- “The Vulnerable Amazon” by Roberto Schaeffer, Alexandre Szklo, André Frossard Pereira de Lucena, Rafael Soria, and Mauro Chávez-Rodriguez
- “Rising Temps, Tides, and Wildfires” by Jayant A. Sathaye, Larry L. Dale, Peter H. Larsen, Gary A. Fitts, Kevin Koy, Sarah M. Lewis, and André Frossard Pereira de Lucena
- “The Future of Coal” by Andrew Maxson and David Thimsen
- “The Power of Collaboration” by Todd Schenk and Leah C. Stokes
- “Latin America Goes Electric” by Pablo Varas, Manuel Tironi, Hugh Rudnick, and Nicolás Rodríguez.
Living in Harmony?
In addition to the five theme feature articles in this issue, we are offering a sixth stand-alone article on a very interesting thought: “Harmoninzing AC and DC” by Peng Wang, Lalit Goel, Xiong Liu, and Fook Hoong Choo of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This article envisions a high-efficiency energy supply system where dc and ac systems coexist in harmony due to advanced power electronic techniques, resulting in more green and high-quality energy with the highest efficiency. Good food for thought!
Awards and Candidates
In “Society News,” we are pleased to present five IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES ) members who have been honored as the recipients of 2013 IEEE Field Awards. Their bios and photos are in our column. Congratulations to all!
Also, “Society News” features a 2013 PES election box where the candidates approved by the PES Governing Board to compete for the 2014–2015 positions of president-elect, secretary, and treasurer are presented. Our July issue will feature these candidates (and any petition candidates) by offering their photos, bios, and candidate statements. Balloting for this year’s election will begin in August.
AC Declared the Winner
Our “History” column, always welcomed by my fellow “buffs,” was written by an old friend, Joe Cunningham, and as usual superbly edited by Carl Sulzberger. This piece reviews the rather extensive effort that was expended to install ac distribution in New York City in support of the Westinghouse polyphase equipment. Joe tells an interesting and compelling tale of the challenges that were faced to finally cement ac as the winner of the famous “war of the currents.”
A View from Germany
The “In My View” column was furnished by Nicole Wilke and offers a view from Germany, a nation in the forefront of dealing with climate change as well as a strong proponent of power from renewables. Ms. Wilke offers a comprehensive view of the efforts that are ongoing worldwide in this area as well as the failures to act decisively. This column puts a final touch of perspective and reality to the issues of paramount importance that have been covered between these covers.