Category Archives: 2012

Human Dimensions of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles in Boulder

Barbara C. Farhar Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, University of Colorado at Boulder


Please join us in hearing Dr. Barbara Farhar, the Principal Investigator for the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, share results of her recently published electric vehicle – smart grid research. Dr. Farhar’s research explored the effect of feedback from the smart grid and other technologies on everyday plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHV) use . Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., sponsored the study and provided the University of Colorado with PHVs for a 2-year field-test. Of the 23,000 households in Boulder with smart meters, 142 of them volunteered to drive the 2010 Prius PHV for 9-week field tests.

Toyota’s interest was in performance of PHV’s would be affected by real-world driving of PHV’s in high altitude climates with mountainous terrain as part of a smart grid environment. In cooperation with the study, the utility installed smart plugs into the garages of the participants. The utility was interested in the potential impacts of PHV charging on the electricity grid. Other research findings crossed the spectrum from gas mileage and energy consumption to trip distance and the distance/time between charges. Audience members will have an opportunity for a Q&A and discussion of what this research might mean for electric vehicle use in the future.

Background Info

Dr. Barbara Farhar is a senior research associate at CU’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute. She has produced more than 240 publications and papers on the relevance of behavioral analysis to energy policy, strategic planning for federal research, public opinion about energy and environmental policy, energy efficiency R&D planning, and technology transfer. She has been published in Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Science. She has served on the board of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society and the American Solar Energy Society.

Power Point

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Study

Progress on Boulder’s Municipal Electric Development Project

Heather Bailey, Executive Director of Energy and Utility, City of Boulder


The City of Boulder’s Executive Director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development, Heather Bailey, discussed a working plan for Boulder as a municipal utility. Since June, she has been working to provide direction in the creation of both short and long-term energy strategies, guide the city in the implementation of new methods of energy management, and pursue the next steps in the analysis of the potential municipal utility of Boulder’s electric distribution system as a part of the Boulder’s Energy Future project.

The project provides the residents and businesses of Boulder a unique opportunity to create the electric utility of the future that will reflect the communities values. Ms. Bailey will present the Municipalization Exploration work plan, where she will describe the City of Boulder’s progress and what will be presented to council in the first quarter of 2013. She will discuss the process and analysis of the work plan, stakeholder participation, and how the different elements of the project will come together to form a strategy for the city. Citizens asked questions to find out what to expect from Boulder’s Energy Future Project in the coming months.

Background Info

Heather Bailey came on board as the City of Boulder’s Executive Director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility in June. With over 30 years of utility operations, finance, accounting, and auditing experience, Ms. Bailey has worked as a regulator, utility executive and consultant. Her experience includes consulting on transmission, financial, regulatory, and strategic issues for the utility industry, plus 19 years managing various operations at one of the largest public power organizations in the country. She oversaw the establishment of a transmission affiliate and negotiated key contract terms with one of the country’s largest utility companies, resulting in over $500 million in projects. Her consulting experience includes developing utility long term transmission and generation investment strategy, utility strategic cost reduction analysis, comprehensive management review of public power operations, rate case and regulatory support, developing and presenting EPRI’s transmission interconnection model for nuclear power plants, due diligence for a transmission merchant project, asset valuations, and developing a strategy for an independent transmission provider entering the Texas market.

Power Point

Boulder’s Energy Future Project

Germany’s Energy Transition

Jonathan Koehn, City of Boulder Regional Sustainability Coordinator


Regional Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Boulder, Jonathan Koehn, shared his exciting experiences as one of ten U.S. representatives invited to join international clean energy community leaders for the first Rural Clean Energy Tour of Germany in early October. Jonathan will share how Germany’s inspiring grass-roots efforts to transition away from carbon-based energy sources to clean renewable energy have resulted in improved economic vitality, reduced green house gas production and increased local control of energy.

Germany is a top nation forging the way for the renewable energy industry, particularly at the local level where communities are determined to become more self-sufficient. With this in mind, the Heinrich Boll Foundation organized the Rural Clean Energy Tour, an effort to push the advancement of renewable technologies at the local and regional levels to help local businesses and create investment opportunities to boost economies around the world. This tour brought together opinion leaders, legislators, and policy experts who are committed to achieving policy change surrounding renewable energy sources, leading to a low carbon economy.

The tour traveled around four cities in Germany, each with a different focus in the renewable energy industry.

  • Berlin – political discussions on the German energy transition
  • Kassel – 100% Renewable Energy Conference (organized by German Renewable Energy Agency) – participants shared trans-Atlantic perspectives on renewable energy
  • Rhon-Grabfeld – Highlighted pioneer renewable energy projects initiated by rural communities
  • Frankfurt – key financing mechanisms in place for renewable energies in Germany

Background Info

Mr. Koehn is the Regional Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Boulder. He works to implement the city’s sustainability agenda, specifically in relation to climate action and waste reduction, but more broadly across the complete spectrum of the city’s sustainability goals. He began his tenure in Boulder as the Environmental Manager for the city in 2006, with over 10 years of experience working with state, regional and local governments to develop strategic and tactical solutions to energy, economics, and climate challenges. In recent months, he has been co-leading the city staff team working on Boulder’s energy efforts.

Jonathan came to Boulder with a diverse background with roles such as creating and directing an environmental non-profit organization, managing outdoor programs for parks and recreation, serving as a national park ranger and a dolphin trainer. Most recently, he worked for the city of Flagstaff, Arizona where he served as the Conservation Manager. Jonathan holds degrees in Environmental Science, Biology, and Marine Sciences.

Power Point

Germany’s Energy Transition

Other Related Documents

Energy Cooperatives

German Federal Government’s Energy Concept

Germany’s New Energy Policy

Two Events – “Communicating Climate Change” and “Presentation of ‘The Republican Brain'”

Chris Mooney, Science Political Journalist and Author


Recent polls show that over 70 percent of Americans see climate change as serious, real, and worthy of policy responses from federal elected officials, who, in turn, seem afflicted by a mental disconnect on the science. And that’s happening along partisan lines. Why?

Bestselling author Chris Mooney uses cutting-edge research to explain the psychology of why Republicans reject the scientific consensus on climate change, and do so by a wide margin when compared with other party affiliations.

The author of The Republican War on Science, the most influential book to look at conservative rejection of scientific evidence, will lead two provocative discussions on the subject, including denial of global expert consensus on climate change. Mooney will also review positions on the economy, American history, and foreign policy.

Science writer Chris Mooney explores brain scans, polls, cognitive processing and psychology experiments to explain why conservatives today tend to disagree with scientific consensus where it confronts their bedrock beliefs, and appear more likely than Democrats to oppose new ideas and less likely to change their beliefs in the face of new facts.  Mooney’s insights result in novel conclusions.

  • He goes beyond claims about ignorance or corporate malfeasance to discover scientific reasons why Republicans reject the widely accepted findings of mainstream science, economics, and history, as well as popularize incorrect governmental policy “facts” (e.g., there were no “death panels” in the health care bill).
  • He explains that the political parties reflect personality and psychological traits with Republicans more wedded to certainty, Democrats to innovation—and this is the root of our divide.

During the afternoon workshop, Chris will equip climate communicators with more insights for reaching an array of decision makers. Certain to spark discussion and debate, the evening presentation by the author of The Republican Brain promises to shed light on numerous Republican positions on scientific findings. We look forward to creating communication strategies that bridge the values gap, engage skeptical citizens and government leaders, and build consensus for climate change solutions.

Background Info

Chris Mooney is also the bestselling author of The Republican War on Science, the host of the “Point of Inquiry” podcast, and the author of “The Intersection” blog for Science Progress. In addition to three books, in the past he has written for Mother Jones, the American Prospect, Harper’s, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Slate. He has appeared on The Last Word, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Book TV, Science Friday, Morning Joe, and Fresh Air, among other programs.

Power Point

Republican Brain

Smokestacks, Tailpipes, and Trashcans: The Waste/Climate Connection

Eric Lombardi, Eco-Cycle Executive Director


Eric Lombardi is an international consultant, keynote speaker and workshop leader for government and private sector clients across the USA, New Zealand, England, Italy, France, Scotland, Romania, American Samoa, Wales and Saipan. His work has covered the Waste/Climate Connection, the creation of recycling facilities, the collection and marketing of “hard to recycle” (HTR) materials such as electronic scrap, the benefits of a social enterprise approach, the politics of growing community recycling programs, and the strategies for long-term recycling business survival.

At his August 16th presentation, Lombardi will discuss opportunites and challenges he has faced in his career as an environmental leader. Furthermore, Eric will share his thoughts on the waste connection to climate change and how he goes about furthuring Eco-Cycle’s mission to identify, explore and demonstrate the emerging frontiers of sustainable resource management through the concepts and practices of Zero Waste. We believe in individual and community action to transform society’s throw-away ethic into environmentally-responsible stewardship.

Background Info

Eric Lombardi is the Executive Director of Eco-Cycle, Inc., and is a specialist in resource recovery, social enterprise and public-private project development. Eco-Cycle was a national pioneer in the recycling industry and is now the largest community-based Zero Waste organization in the U.S.A. with a staff of 80 and processing of over 50,000 tons of diverse recycled materials per year (2011). Lombardi is an authority on creating comprehensive community-based programs and is often a keynote speaker and consultant on the social and technical aspects of creating a “Zero Waste – Or Darn Near” society.

Power Point

Waste/Climate Connection