Onalytica - Interview with Daniel CohanDaniel Cohan – Associate professor of Environmental Engineering at Rice University

Key Topics: Air pollution; air quality management; life cycle emissions; trends in renewable energy and fossil fuels; climate policy; interactions between air pollution and climate; decarbonization of energy; carbon capture and storage; carbon taxes; cap-and-trade

Location: Houston, TX

Bio: Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Rice University focusing on atmospheric modeling to inform air quality management and the impacts of energy use on the environment and health. Author of op-eds on air, climate, and energy for The Hill, The Conversation, Houston Chronicle, etc.

HOW DID YOU GET TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN THE FUTURE OF ENERGY?

I earned my Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at Georgia Tech, and then worked on air pollution policies for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division before becoming a professor at Rice University. I have published over 40 peer-reviewed publications related to air pollution and the impacts of energy on the environment. I teach courses on atmospheric science, energy and the environment, and solutions to climate change.

WHAT AREAS OF THE FUTURE OF ENERGY ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Trends in renewable energy and fossil fuels. Opportunities to achieve progress jointly for climate and air quality. How atmospheric science can inform policy decisions.

WHICH FUTURE OF ENERGY INFLUENCERS INFLUENCE YOU?

Journalists: Brad Plumer, David Roberts, Amy Harder, Taylor Kuykendall, Emily Atkin, Chris Mooney
Researchers: Jason Bordoff, Varun Sivaram, Glen Peters, Jesse Jenkins, Michael Liebreich
Innovators: Jigar Shah

OUTSIDE OF THE FUTURE OF ENERGY WHO ELSE INFLUENCES YOU?

Alex Gilbert (energy analyses), Eric Hittinger (electric grid), Chris Nelder (energy innovations), Gavin Bade (utility sector), Richard Meyer (natural gas). Michael Webber from UT Austin (water – energy nexus), Daniel Kammen from UC Berkeley (energy decarbonization), Katharine Hayhoe from Texas Tech (climate communication), Amory Lovins from Rocky Mountain Institute (energy innovations)

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OFFLINE INFLUENCE?

I teach courses, lead scientific studies for peer-reviewed publications, write for popular media outlets (The Hill, The Conversation, Houston Chronicle, etc.), speak to scientific and general audiences, advise congressional candidates, and am beginning work on a book about addressing climate change.

WHAT ARE GOING TO BE THE KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

Development of wind and solar farms to take advantage of tax credits before they phase down. Debuts of more electric vehicles, aided by continued declines in battery costs. State-level actions to address climate change (especially watch Washington carbon tax; New Jersey & Virginia joining Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; ongoing developments in California). Midterm elections. Whether shale oil and gas continue to grow.

IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN COLLABORATING ON?

Podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, speaking opportunities , product development, any of these depending on the topic and time commitment.

WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?

Email cohan@rice.edu or call 713-348-5129