Sustainability & Energy Efficiency

The Emergence of Renewable Energy & Barriers to its Adoption: Featuring Executive Energy Forum Keynote Speaker

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Constellation will be hosting its fourth Executive Energy Forum (EEF) of 2019 on October 17-18 in Chicago. Attendees will walk away with information on energy market outlooks, critical energy management strategies and policy issues affecting their business’ bottom lines.

We are excited to announce our industry keynote speaker: Dr. Michael R. Wasielewski, executive director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN).

Mike Wasielewski in Ryan Hall at Northwestern University in Evanston Monday, March 13, 2017. Photo by Rob Hart

We interviewed Dr. Wasielewski to learn more about his background in the energy industry and to find out a bit more about what our attendees should expect to learn.

Tell us about your background in energy.

For the past 40-plus years, I have done research on fundamental aspects of solar energy conversion — ranging from natural photosynthesis to chemical systems for light capture, charge generation and transport — to catalysts for energy storage. This has resulted in more than 660 publications on the subject in a variety of scholarly journals and almost an equal number of public lectures on the topic. The first half of my career was spent at Argonne National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, and the second half at Northwestern University, where I currently direct the Institute for Sustainability and Energy.

What can attendees expect to learn from your presentation?

My presentation will focus on the broad portfolio of energy-related topics in which the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern is engaged and how these topics will impact their businesses.

Why is this topic so timely for energy professionals? 

Renewable energy is gaining considerable market penetration, yet significant challenges to its widespread adoption remain. In addition, the transition to new energy technologies is accompanied by significant sustainability challenges as well.

What energy trend do you think energy professionals should pay attention to in 2019 and beyond?

A key technology is energy storage. Most commonly, this takes the form of improved battery performance; however, storage methods having higher energy densities, such as liquid fuels, are required for aircraft and heavy transportation.

What’s your favorite energy-related book/publication/podcast?

A recent good read is “Energy: A Human History” by Richard Rhodes. In this book, he examines the historical difficulties of transitioning between different energy technologies.

Chicago EEF attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Dr. Michael Wasielewski and Dan Hampton, Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman and 1985 Bears Super Bowl champion, named to NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. Not able to be there? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for live coverage. To receive Constellation’s updates on the latest market trends, which include information on upcoming events, visit

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