At Penn Energy Week, a time to reflect on energy science, technology, and policy

Hosted by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and the Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology, the third annual Energy Week, which runs March 20-24, offers events on decarbonization, careers in the energy sector, global energy security, and more.

Solar panels and three wind turbines set against a blue sky and setting sun.
Image: iStock/hrui

Monday marks the start of the third annual Energy Week at Penn, an opportunity to reflect on the University’s deep and diverse expertise in energy science, technology, and policy, says Cory Colijn, executive director of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, which is co-hosting the program with Penn’s Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology.

“With participants from seven schools and across 15 centers and institutes, events will cover a wide range of topics,” Colijn says. “But they all share one common theme: an interest in and commitment to furthering a sustainable energy future.”

One panel organized by Penn Sustainability will look at decarbonizing urban institutions. Another, put together by the Penn Institute for Urban Research, will explore how to provide sustainable energy to informal settlements in the Global South. There will also be lightning talks presented by undergraduates and grad students on subjects including low-carbon hydrogen, land acquisition for renewable energy, and climate-conscious concrete.

“Some of the most creative strategies to address climate change and wonderful advances in sustainable energy solutions are coming out of Penn labs, and Penn students and faculty are incredibly excited to share what they’re working on,” says Karen Goldberg, Vagelos Institute director and a professor in Penn’s Department of Chemistry in the School of Arts & Sciences. “Energy Week also provides an opportunity to bring world leaders in energy research to campus to interact with the Penn community.”

For example, for this year’s Vagelos Institute Lecture in Energy Science and Technology, Jenny Y. Yang, a professor from the University of California, Irvine, and director of the Department of Energy-funded Center for Closing the Carbon Cycle, will speak about how nature can inspire novel sustainable energy solutions and allow for the creation of carbon-neutral fuels.

Other Energy Week offerings include:

• Monday, March 20, 12:15 p.m., in person and virtual: What is ESG? Why It Matters and Why You Should Pay Attention. This panel, hosted by the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media, the Kleinman Center, and the Wharton Climate Center and moderated by Penn climate scientist Michael Mann, will focus on the new concept of ESG or “Environmental, Social, and Governance.”

• Tuesday, March 21, 9 a.m., virtual: The Transatlantic Energy Landscape—One Year After Russia’s Invasion. This two-part session, hosted by the Kleinman Center, will look at what the end of Russia’s energy reign in Europe means, as well as countering Russian weaponization of energy.

• Tuesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m., in person: The Energy Week Poster Session, hosted by the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research, the Vagelos Institute, and the Kleinman Center.

• Wednesday, March 22, 5 p.m., in person: Careers in the Energy Sector: Energy Week Alumni Panel, hosted by the Kleinman Center. Badar Khan of EVgo will moderate a conversation with Donald Brown of NiSource, Emily Duncan of American Electric Power, Brian Menell of TechMet Ltd., and Sarene Marshall of Galway Sustainable Capital.

For the full lineup of events, which are open to students, faculty, and the general public, visit

Energy Week is hosted by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and the Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology.

Sponsors include: From Penn, Penn Vet’s Center for Stewardship Agriculture and Food Security, Penn Chemistry, the Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media, Penn Climate Ventures, Penn Electric Racing, the Environmental Innovations Initiative, Penn Institute for Urban Research, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Penn Mission Continuity, Penn Sustainability, Perry World House, The Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture, the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research, the Wharton Climate Center, and the Wharton Latin American Conference; from Drexel, The Environmental Collaboratory; and the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy.