Hello, and welcome to our blog! The Fastest Path to Zero is a brand new initiative aimed at helping communities reach their climate goals as quickly as possible. We use an interdisciplinary, technology neutral, community-driven approach to help enable decision makers to determine which technologies are the best fit for their needs and to work with their communities to get those solutions adopted.

This is a space where all of our team members will share periodic updates, stories, imagery, and insights as we work with communities to meet their climate goals. Here’s what’s happening now:

This week data scientists, Gabby Hoelzle and Carrie Harlow are hard at work building out our unique database that will track more than fifty criteria so we can help communities quickly gain a holistic view of the conditions that they’ll need to take into consideration. We will start accepting requests for consultation the first of September. Here is a small sample of the data streams they are parsing, cross-referencing, and prioritizing in preparation to help serve you:

Geographic Economic Political Social
Climate change risk, adaptation, and resilience Projected demand Stakeholder database Public polling data
Existing plants and facilities Energy mix Environmental regulation Social media insight
National labs and defense sites PPAs Political bias Advocacy and activism
Constrain mapping of buildable areas Median energy costs Public policy Demographics

Brian Shen, Hermoine Li, and Jennifer Moss–University of Michigan students who are training with our partners at the Center for Socially Engaged Design–are on the ground at the Idaho National Laboratory supporting their communications and engagement efforts as they prepare to house several first-of-a-kind advanced reactors (including the potential micro-reactor project mentioned below). They’ve been interviewing folks across the intermountain west region to understand attitudes about nuclear energy and the laboratory’s role in the community. This is an important site for our work, as many of the best practices and social norms associated with advanced reactor deployment and nuclear-renewable hybrid energy systems will likely be established during the planning and construction of these first-of-a-kind technologies.

Our creative director, Suzy Baker, is attending the Breakthrough Dialogue in Sausalito, CA to present our very first visualization project for the Idaho National Laboratory; an adaptive reuse scenario that reimagines the iconic Early Breeder Reactor-II dome as home to a new micro-reactor. This advanced nuclear technology has the potential to help displace diesel generators and serve the energy needs of remote communities. We’re excited to assist the lab as they prepare to host a whole suite of new climate technologies!

image credit:Third Way and Gensler


We are also excited to share this journey with you! More soon!

You can reach us at fastestpath@umich.edu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FastPathToZero

Post Author: Suzanne Baker