Spring 2016
Jeffrey Brownson
Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering
John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering
Co-Director: 2iE-PSU Centre for Collaborative Engagement
Solar Option Lead: iMPS Renewable Energy & Sustainability Systems
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Solar photovoltaics are the modern bellwether for new opportunities in integrative solar energy goods and services. Solar energy, as the flow of shortwave light, can be converted into many different goods and services. Solar is dramatically affected by locale, the contextual constraints in space/time from the local solar resource, local ecosystems and land use, local energy/resource costs, and local policies (in essence, all solar is local).Members of society then directly or indirectly exhibit differential preference for these derived goods and services, often associated with the goal of solar design, and given the associated context-dependent constraints (locale) for solar energy conversion system projects. There is a diverse world of solar energy conversion awaiting exploration through the compartitive lens of solar utility: stakeholder preference for goods and services in the broad portfolio of solar energy conversion. Dr. Brownson will present the evolving school of thought emerging at Penn State, solar ecology: the solar energy science addressing the systemic interactions of humans and biota and their surrounding environments, derived from the dynamic flow of solar energy to Earth’s surface regions, affecting the global food-energy-water nexus. Energy impacts in water, ecosystems services, food systems, and social systems demonstrate how a solar ecology framework will contribute to a new wave of coupled discoveries and social change by 2100.