K. Max Zhang | A Tale of Twin Energy Developments: Shale Gas and Large-Scale Solar

Abstract: This talk goes through two major developments in energy transitions and the associated social, economic, and environmental impacts. The phenomenal growth in shale gas production over the last decade has fundamentally reshaped the energy systems in the U.S. and geopolitics in the world. However, the environmental and climate impacts of shale gas development have led to distinctly different energy policies even in neighboring states. Large-scale solar is an emerging energy development in the U.S. While it plays a critical role in achieving the ambitious grid decarbonization goals, the public acceptance of large-scale solar has been mixed. The speaker argues that a new kind of developmental process is necessary to accelerate renewable energy deployment while creating vibrant communities that host those projects.

Bio: Dr. Zhang’s research interests focus on energy and the environment, driven by societal impact. He studies the interactions between energy and environmental systems using numerical models and experimental techniques, in the context of air pollution, renewable energy, and deep decarbonization. His research has led to major legislation and programs in New York, the U.S., and internationally. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dr. Zhang’s group aims to establish a source-to-receptor relationship for harmful airborne particulate matter (PM) and gaseous pollutants and indoor contaminants, with applications on near-source air pollution, indoor environmental quality, and environmental justice.

This event is presented as part of the 2024 Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge Seminar Series:

Most Mondays, Spring Semester 2024, 2:55-4:10pmVia ZoomThis university-wide seminar series is open to the public (via Zoom), and provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from Cornell University and beyond present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is being organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering and Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

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