University salutatorian discusses importance of maintaining service-oriented mindset

first_imgHaving traveled abroad for three summers working in Shirati, Tanzania, and Masaka, Uganda, serving as the co-president of GlobeMed and conducting research through the Kellogg International Scholars program, class of 2019 salutatorian Annelise Gill-Wiehl fulfilled her belief that “we’re here for more.”An environmental engineering major and international development studies minor, Gill-Wiehl said she initially wanted to study water infrastructure, but after taking classes within the major and traveling abroad, she began to see the decencies of electricity.The summer after her freshman year, Gill-Wiehl said she went to Masaka, Uganda, on a Kellogg internship to work for a local agricultural training center, founded by a woman who saw agriculture as an opportunity for families to rise out of poverty. Over the course of her summer there, Gill-Wiehl organized workshops on water conservation and environmental protection and built a water runoff collection tank, but she said her experiences with her host family sparked her passion for energy.“Because they spoke such limited English, I bonded with them by cooking,” she said. “It became one of my favorite things, cooking with my host sister, cooking with my host mom, learning the traditional foods, but we did it all on fire wood and charcoal stoves.”The next summer, she traveled to Shirati, Tanzania, to investigate household energy usage, and the next year, she returned to design a pilot study, training local community members to use gas stoves to work with the households in their own neighborhoods to transition to clean fuel.“The purpose was to really instill a behavior change that’s facilitated by the community itself,” she said.Her involvement abroad extended beyond her time in Uganda and Tanzania, as Gill-Wiehl also served as the co-president of GlobeMed this past year. Although Gill-Wiehl never considered a career medicine, she said she was drawn to the manner in which the club approaches outreach.“It was founded on the principle that, as college students, we don’t know what’s going on in rural Laos,” she said. “We’re working in partnership with them to understand what’s actually going on there and what their needs are, and I really loved that example of international development and the idea of being in partnership with organizations and communities rather than being a white donor that’s telling them what to do.”Gill-Wiehl said she knew she wanted to work in poverty and justice before she came to Notre Dame, and two of her favorite books — “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder and “Santiago’s Children” by Steve Reifenberg — have helped her order her time at the University.“They’ve really formed how I could look at how my career could be, understanding that larger purpose and opening my eyes to international development and a preferential option for the poor and giving me the language around structural violence,” she said.Outside of academics and research, Gill-Wiehl said she loves running, traveling and drinking coffee. “I love having conversations over coffee,” she said. “I think that it’s magical how it brings people together. In Starbucks, it’s nice to just eavesdrop on the great conversations between students or professors and students. So yes, I’ve been known to beat everyone out on coffee consumption for sure.”Reflecting on her time at Notre Dame, Gill-Wiehl said her Notre Dame education has extended far beyond academics.“I’ve found the heart of my passions and the purpose of those academics in my research in my extra activities,” she said. “Prioritize your academics, but prioritize the activities that really inspire you and bring you energy and life.”Gill-Wiehl said she intends to maintain the passions she cultivated at the University long after she leaves campus, and she hopes her fellow graduating seniors will do the same.“We’re here for more, and we shouldn’t lose that sense that we’re here for more just because we aren’t at Notre Dame,” she said.Tags: Class of 2019, Commencement 2019, university salutatorianlast_img read more

Philippines approves $1.65 billion in rooftop solar projects

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享AsianPower:The Philippine Board of Investments has approved eight solar projects through Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc. worth PhP85.96b, or US$1.65b. A conservative estimate of 8GW of solar installations by 2030 includes 35% of that coming from rooftop solar, an investment value of US$2.8b, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analytics (IEEFA) indicated.According to Sarah Jane Ahmed, energy finance analyst at IEEFA, rooftop solar could lower electricity costs to PhP 2.50 per kWh (excluding financing expenses) and triggering US$2.8b or PhP1.5t in new investment by 2030.“The government is in a position to change the longstanding status quo, which disproportionally puts fuel-price and foreign-exchange risk on consumers, while utilities and power generators remain insulated from market changes. As a result, power suppliers have no incentive to transition away from coal and diesel or to hedge against price-change and currency risks,” she said.In a report, Ahmed highlighted how the Philippines continues to lag global trends toward power-sector modernization, which are gaining momentum around rapidly-declining costs and technological advances in renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed storage. However, the PBI’s nod towards the eight solar projects worth US$1.65b marks an “enormous” opportunity to replace imported-coal and imported-diesel models with indigenous alternatives, the analyst said.“Solar, wind, run-of-river hydro, geothermal, biogas, and storage are competitive, viable domestic options that can be combined to create a cheaper, more diverse and secure energy system,” she said. This phenomenon alone could save the Philippines up to US$2.2b annually in its current account deficits as well as US$200m per year in diesel subsidies.In March, Manila Electric Company (Meralco) received the country’s lowest wind electricity generation bid ever on a new 150MW wind turbine project in the Rizal province, for PhP3.50 per kWh. Solar is competing similarly, with Meralco having contracted for a PhP 2.99-per kWh, 50MW capacity plant.In comparison, coal-fired power generation costs upwards of PhP 3.8-5.5 per kWh whilst the “true” cost of imported diesel-fired power ranges from PhP 15 to PhP 28 per kWh.Rooftop solar costs PhP2.50 per kWh (without financing expenses) to 5.3 per kWh (with financing expenses), utility-scale solar power can cost as little as PhP 2.99 per kWh, wind is PhP3.5 per kWh, geothermal is PhP3.5-4.5 per kWh, and run-of-river hydro costs PhP3-6.2 per kWh.More: Unwieldy rules bar growth of Philippines’ solar rooftop potential Philippines approves $1.65 billion in rooftop solar projectslast_img read more