Episode 036: The Future of Renewable Energy with Dr. Clack

Christopher ClackDr. Christopher Clack is a mathematician and research scientist for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at Colorado University at Boulder.  He joins us to talk about his latest work of building an electric energy simulator. Dr. Clack discusses how it allows us to seek out the most cost effective approach to rebuild the future energy system in a methodical and calculated way. Dr. Clack dives deeper into the model and tells us how we can investigate almost infinite possibilities and display them for the decision makers in the future.

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Bio:

Dr. Christopher Clack is a mathematician and research scientist for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at Colorado University at Boulder.

 

Recommended Book:

 “Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?)” by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

 

Glimpse into the interview:

ES: What are you the most excited about in your field of work and why?

CC:  The field I work in has such a vast array of different angles and paradigms it is a pleasure to be part of and talk with others who may be in the same “field” but work on completely different aspects. I enjoy anything that allows mathematics to answer questions that haven’t been expressed fully yet. It gives me insight that is unexpected, but rigorous.

ES: What makes this project/research special to you personally?

CC:  It is special to me because I have had a role in every aspect of the project. From building the mathematical optimizer, to collecting weather data, to producing algorithms, or compiling data sets to use in the model, I have done it all and it has given me a breadth and pride in the work only accomplished by hard work and dedication.

ES: What is the next big obstacle that you see in this field and what implications will this have on the world of science or your study in particular?

CC:  The next big obstacle is taking the model to the next step and using it further for study and allowing us to build a body of evidence for decisions makers to absorb and move forward with. Possible implementation is beyond what I do for a living, but that would be the next hurdle for the science, deploying the systems simulated.

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