As the essential push toward a low-carbon future accelerates, how do we balance the benefits of clean energy production with the potential risks to nature?

As the essential push toward a low-carbon future accelerates, how do we balance the benefits of clean energy production with the potential risks to nature?

Cambridge | April 20, 2017

With well-known sources like hydro, wind and solar at the forefront, many countries have made impressive strides transitioning to clean energy. Still, the challenges are immense: Consider that in 2015 only about 13 percent of the electricity produced in the United States came from renewable sources.

What are the tools—technology, policy, markets and beyond—that will help us produce the clean energy we need, while protecting the health of our rivers and minimizing energy sprawl and other impacts? What role can lesser known renewable sources like biomass and tidal power play?

On May 1 in Cambridge, an expert panel—Katherine Hamilton, of 38 North Solutions; Jessika Trancik, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Nels Johnson, of The Nature Conservancy—will discuss these questions and more. Dan Delurey, president of Wedgemere Group, will moderate.

The event will be the 13th in The Nature Conservancy’s Future of Nature Boston Speaker Series. Special thanks to series media sponsor WBUR.

Tickets: $10, available at

Time: Special networking reception catered by Chive Events, 5:30 p.m. Panel discussion including audience questions, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

Location: The Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (NERD); 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142

Panelists and Moderator Bios:

Katherine Hamilton – Partner, 38 North Solutions

Before co-founding 38 North Solutions, specializing in clean energy and innovation policy, Hamilton ran the smart grid-focused GridWise Alliance. She was policy advisor for Good Energies, a private equity company with a $6B clean energy portfolio. Early in her career, Hamilton designed electrical systems for commercial and residential developments for a utility. She’s president of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Energy Global Future Council. You can hear her weekly on Greentech Media’s podcast, The Energy Gang. 
Jessika Trancik – Associate Professor of Energy Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Trancik received her B.S. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Before MIT, she spent several years at the Santa Fe Institute as an Omidyar Fellow, and at Columbia University as an Earth Institute Fellow. Her research group studies the dynamic costs and environmental impacts of energy technologies to inform technology design and policy. She is also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Nels Johnson – Director, North America Energy Program, The Nature Conservancy

Johnson works with teams across North America to integrate “smart-siting” into energy development, the leading cause of land-use change across much of the continent. During his 25-year career, he has worked on forest management, carbon sequestration, protected areas design, climate adaptation and incentives to sustain ecosystem services in Asia, Latin America and North America. As deputy state director for the Conservancy in Pennsylvania, Johnson helped build innovative programs focused on such things as ecological water flows and reducing impacts from shale energy development.
Moderator: Dan Delurey, President, Wedgemere Group.  Delurey had experience as a senior executive in the utility and high-tech sectors prior to founding Wedgemere Group, which provides communications, facilitation and policy services to companies, governments and NGOs in the emerging areas of grid modernization and climate change. He has been an invited speaker at the White House and an invited expert witness at hearings in both the U.S. Senate and House. Delurey is an accredited official in the United Nations climate change process and recently took a delegation of technology companies to COP-21 in Paris. 

The Future of Nature Boston Speaker Series is made possible by the generosity of Marilyn and Jay Sarles, Tom Jones, David and Susan Leathers, and Eaglemere Foundation.

The series features leaders in their fields discussing some of our most critical conservation challenges and opportunities. Visit for more. Follow @Nature_NE for ongoing discussion on energy and other topics that affect nature in New England and beyond. Join the conversation by tweeting your hopes and concerns, using the hashtag #futureofnature.

The Microsoft New England Research & Development Center (NERD) is home to teams working on products and services like Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft SQL. It has hosted more than 1,000 events since opening in 2008.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

James Miller
Associate Director, Communications; The Nature Conservancy


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