Renewable Energy & Desalination

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Fulbright Research on Renewable Energy and Desalination and Arctic Climate Change and North American Adaptation

In July 2013, Fulbright Canada awarded Dr. Muir the Fulbright Canada-Royal Bank of Canada Award for renewable energy and desalination projects for 2014. Dr. Muir is implementing this Fulbright research as Adjunct Associate Research Scholar with the Columbia Climate Center (CCC) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in New York City; and Visiting Scholar with the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration and Mangone Center for Marine Policy in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware.

The research is also being implemented as a Research Associate of the Arctic Institute of North America and an Associate Professor with Aarhus University Herning in cooperation with the Arctic Research Centre and the Centre for Energy Technologies. The Fulbright research is also occurring in collaboration with the Sustainable Cities International (SCI) Energy Lab, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and the Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC).

One area of Fulbright research explores the linkage between aquifer management, renewable energy and desalination for the Baja region of Mexico. In the Baja, regional aquifers are managed by the state, while municipalities provide water services. There is concern that municipalities will not have sufficient water to meet current needs. The role of renewable energy and desalination is being considered for additional water supplies and to replenish depleted aquifers. This research is being implemented in collaboration with the Centro Mario Molina, the IMPLAN Los Cabos (El Instituto Municipal de Planeacion de Los Cabos), and the Sustainable Cities International Energy Lab. Alfonso Rivera, Adjunct Professor at INRS-Ete and Chief Hydrogeologist, Geological Survey of Canada is providing advice on aquifer assessment and modeling.

Further Fulbright research is occurring with UN DESA on the energy and water nexus, particularly in light of agriculture and water scarcity in northern Africa.
Another area of Fulbright research focuses on the role of public and private partnerships, business models and financial instruments, and approaches for renewable energy and water projects that support sustainable development goals. This research is being implemented with Sustainable Cities International Energy Lab (in cooperation with member cities of Durban, Los Cabos and Zagreb) and UN agencies. Representatives of the Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund are providing advice.

A further area of Fulbright research being explored with the Earth Institute is Arctic and polar climate impacts on global hydrological systems and how this may affect mid-latitude regions and cities. The focus is on understanding changes to North American hydrologic systems and atmospheric and ocean circulatory patterns as well as how communities within New York City can understand and respond to these changes. The research uses participatory and partnership approaches, oral and written communications, and web-based platforms to support understanding and adaptation within communities.

More detailed and updated descriptions of this research can be found on the following project websites:

Fulbright Research on Arctic and Arctic Oceans; Aquifers, Renewable Energy and Desalination; and Sustainable Development Goals:

Complete presentations and publications

Fulbright Scholarship Research on Renewable Energy and Desalination Projects

Arctic Climate Impacts on Mid-Latitude Regions and Cities

Adaptation Governance for Global and Climate Change in the Circumpolar Arctic