Video: David Wilkinson on Future Energy – How Climate Change, Sustainability, and Geopolitical Stability is Transforming the Path Forward
The Wall Catalyst Emeriti cohort meet monthly to share research experience and engage with guest lecturers on the topic of the “Climate and Nature Emergency”. Their guest on January 19, 2023 was David P. Wilkinson, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair and Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC.
Prof. Wilkinson’s research is focused on electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering, particularly with respect to materials, processes, and devices to create clean and sustainable energy and water. Prior to joining UBC he had over 20 years of industrial leadership positions in the areas of fuel cells, hydrogen and advanced lithium batteries. He has over 82 issued US patents and over 235 refereed journal articles, a co-authored book, and a number of book chapters and edited books. Dr. Wilkinson is also the cofounder of the company Mangrove Lithium focused on water treatment and processing of lithium for batteries. He has received a number of awards from various academic, scientific and industrial organizations, including the Order of Canada.
Energy is one of the most important challenges facing humanity today, forming a nexus with the environment, food, water, health, and global security and prosperity. Since the late 1700s and the start of the industrial revolution our dependence on fossil fuels has grown and resulted in significant climate change and global instability. Electrification of the energy system (targeting over 50% by 2050) and phasing out of fossil fuel use are cornerstones of the energy path forward. The use of batteries, fuel cells, biofuels and hydrogen, are critical to the success of this plan. The transition away from oil and gas is key but carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS), and timing are important in the near-term to meet energy and climate change requirements, and for geopolitical stability. This talk will discuss the clean energy plan and transition based on the Net Zero 2050 Roadmap by the International Energy Agency (IEA), and others, some related research at UBC, and some of the potential issues we face in this massive undertaking.