South Korean Colleagues Visit
On Friday, July 7, the Office for Sustainability welcomed a delegation of visitors from South Korea through the Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program. Spending time in Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Kalamazoo, the group endeavored to learn about US policies and practices in ‘Energy Security through Deregulation and Energy Efficiency’. Western Michigan University's reputation as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible ‘green colleges' made the Office for Sustainability a logical stop on their tour to help delegates learn about the role of the academic community in advancing clean energy by making university campuses into energy efficient test beds. The Office for Sustainability guides and assists the University community in fulfilling and growing its sustainability commitments.
The visiting delegates, South Korean energy planning experts from the government, research sector, and private industry were presented with the challenge of “wicked problem taming” by Dr. Harold Glasser, WMU's Executive Director of Campus Sustainability. Dr. Glasser presented first- and second-order change in relation to long-term national energy planning and with special reference to greenhouse gas reduction, renewables, and demand-side management. For the course of the two and half hour presentation and discussion, data and examples from the United States and Europe helped illustrate that there is a much larger opportunity in South Korea to cost effectively reduce demand while expanding the acceleration of the renewables sector.
The delegates, Ms. So Eun Hwang, Researcher, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Won Jang, Deputy Director, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy; Mr. Chang Sun Kim, Principal Researcher, Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning; Mr. Changhun Kim, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Korea Energy Economics Institute; and Mr. Jong Yul Kim, Ph.D., Senior Research Engineer, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, explored concepts and practices to help facilitate bilateral cooperation on global energy security, climate change and clean energy, and economic opportunity.