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Recap - Energy Transition to Net Zero

06/20/2022 10:10 PM | Anonymous

EconAlliance Energy Forum Attracts Multiple Industries

On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, four Santa Barbara County mayors, numerous district representatives of elected officials, as well as a wealth of County and city government policymakers and over 100 industry and community leaders gathered to hear a presentation and panel discussions on the opportunities and challenges of the energy transition now in progress. The EconAlliance event – Energy Transition to Net Zero – was held at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and featured as keynote Sarah D. Saltzer, PhD, Managing Director of both Stanford University’s Center for Carbon Storage and Carbon Removal Institute.

Dr. Saltzer (pictured) emphasized the importance of the transition – one that will impact rural and metropolitan areas alike, and one that will touch every demographic and economic sector. She also described a three-phase Stanford study in progress that first executed a grounding needs assessment with interviews and workshops, then took “deep dives” into the five largest greenhouse gas-emitting sectors, analyzing for each its sources, emitting fuels, strategies to de-carbonize and costs.

The last phase, now beginning, will summarize and integrate findings and develop and analyze possible transition scenarios. Preliminary findings highlight the importance of grid upgrades and development of carbon sequestration and storage strategies. Her in-depth presentation (PDF Link Here) was very well received.

Dr. Saltzer’s keynote was followed by two panel discussions. Story continues below slide show!

The first paneled discussion, Industry Sector Perspectives, moderated by Noozhawk Founder/Publisher Bill Macfadyen, included industry sector representatives Kevin Kester (cattle ranching), Bob Brown (petroleum), Phil Adam (agriculture) and Tim Walters (commercial and residential design and engineering, housing). Panelists described both the impacts and opportunities of the energy transition specific to their industries.

Energy Supply: Benefits, Challenges and Economics was the title of the second panel, which was moderated by Jorge Mercado, Pacific Business Times reporter on energy, utilities, technology and agriculture. Featuring Meredith Morford, PG&E clean energy transportation manager; Jennifer Miller, responsible for Pacific regional renewable energy projects for the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; and Nate Taylor, Southern California Gas strategy and analysis manager as panelists. Panelists shared information about renewable efforts and projects in progress, highlighting the costs, challenges and opportunities of these transition-supporting activities.


A 501c3 nonprofit organization, EconAlliance drives positive impact through strategic initiatives, unique partnerships and creative programs. The organization champions Northern Santa Barbara County communities and the key industry sectors that fuel these communities and inspire regional economic vitality.

Contact: Victoria Conner


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