The premise of my thesis is that we can do our part to combat climate change and stop the devastating global warming trend through locally renewable and sustainable energy systems. If we are to avoid the consequential anthropogenic disasters that await us due to climate change, this must happen now, and it will only happen by reducing our appetite for fossil fuels. Globally, the burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, the electrical power generation sector will soon surpass the transportation sector as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions as we transition to electric vehicles.
What actions can be taken to help our planet reach carbon neutrality? Encouraged by the electric vehicle movement, you can purchase an electric car, but if your electricity is produced by the burning of coal and natural gas, are you, in fact, increasing greenhouse gas emissions? What are your options? You can install solar PV panels on the roof of your home. Although perhaps, you cannot afford to do so, or your roof does not face the correct direction or have the appropriate angle or obstacles are in the way, or you live in an apartment building or high-rise building that does not allow for rooftop panels. You can invest in a wind turbine to generate electricity, but these are expensive, and your neighborhood or city may not allow for such structures.
There are solutions, namely, a regionally owned microgrid to supply electricity produced from wind, solar and other renewables at competitive prices.
What my time at KCAD meant to me
The focus of my time in the Master of Arts in Design program has been in the sustainable circular economy with emphasis on renewable energy and our natural environment. Some of the projects I have researched are commuting by bicycle in our urban environment, eliminating single-use plastics, and combating climate change through local renewable energy systems. My professional career has been in technical sales focusing on design solutions for manufacturing companies. Combining the Master of Arts in Design degree with my work experience allows me to look at problems and develop new solutions from a circular and sustainable business model.