5 Ways to Learn About A Digital Energy Future

On this Earth Day, as we follow the rules and keep ourselves and others safe by staying at home as much as possible, we at EC-MAP are also thinking about how our society’s collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the benefits and challenges that digitalization can provide.

On the one hand, digital tools and platforms are enabling innovative telemedicine solutions, continued connectivity with friends and family, and the ability to rapidly trace, quantify, and map the virus’ spread. At the same time, there are legitimate concerns over consumer privacy and mass collection of personal data, the manipulation of information in social media, and discrimination by algorithmically-controlled systems.

When we started EC-MAP nearly two years ago, we sought to create a fresh forum to cultivate curiosity and enthusiasm about the implications of the digital economy on the energy sector. We wanted to advance a different type of dialogue that could bring together diverse stakeholders from across industry spheres and the political spectrum to discuss market barriers to clean energy innovations that can empower the consumer and facilitate more transparency and choice.

This work is just beginning. Building upon those benefits and challenges posed by the COVID-19 response, EC-MAP will continue working to unify stakeholders around public policies and private sector actions that enable the digital infrastructure to rewire our energy economy.

With these ideas in mind, here are five things you can do to learn more about building a digital energy future that works for consumers and the climate:

1. Participate in the Earth Day 50th anniversary webinar hosted by the Aspen institute and Energy Futures Initiative. The event features former Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and Amy Luers, Executive Director of Future Earth. (EC-MAP is proud to serve on Future Earth’s Expert Advisory Committee).

2. Watch this Future Earth video and read the full report, Digital Disruptions for Sustainability Agenda (D^2S).

3. Learn about new, conservative approaches to climate action as part of the just-released American Climate Contract led by the American Conservation Coalition.

4. Listen to The Interchange podcast episode “Beyond Forecasting: Artificial Intelligence Is a Powerful Decarbonization Tool” to learn why we may need more data scientists than climate scientists in the future. Want an even deeper dive? Check out this blockchain-focused podcast, “Tokenizing Social and Climate Impact,” which helps to illuminate how one innovator is using a “bottom up” style of approach with exponential digital technologies to create verification of impact and a data rich, more humanized experience.

5. Read the latest EC-MAP white paper,The Role of Digitalization in Driving Demand for Industrial Decarbonization” and learn about the discussion that took place on the paper at our March 5th event. We are excited to build upon these efforts to promote full traceability of products from their sources to the final consumer and help promote economic recovery by illuminating lower emissions profiles and economic benefits.

It’s our hope to build future opportunities for collaboration to help enable policy and digital solutions that bring transparency to supply chains, optimize industrial and building efficiency, and reinvigorate local economic development by empowering consumers with information—all while lowering emissions trajectories.