Edward P. Yim

Affiliation and Title:  Energy Policy Advisor, District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment

Washington, D.C.

Title of Presentation: “Rising to the Climate Challenge: Radically Reducing Energy Consumption and Self-supplying Power for Resiliency”


Currently, the trend in global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is tracking the initial trajectory of RCP8.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway) modeled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which could increase the global temperature to 5o Celsius.  Reducing the GHG emissions to a level consistent with keeping the temperature rise to 1.5o Celsius in an equitable manner, consistent with RCP 2.6 of AR5 and the Paris Climate Accord, could mean that the District of Columbia’s GHG emissions must peak in the next few years and be reduced by 70% or more from the 2006 levels by 2035.  To accomplish this task, DC must not only follow the three pillars of deep decarbonization as articulated in the UN’s Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project; it must employ additional strategies such as radical reduction of building energy consumption, innovative bulk procurement of renewable energy, and maximization of community-scale zero-emissions energy resources, including renewable thermal resources such as geothermal, wastewater thermal or river thermal, as well as biomethane from anaerobic digestion, which will not only maximize sustainability but also resiliency.  Such strategies will require policy measures with a seamless feedback process of translating the carbon budget (mT/CO2e/capita or sq.ft) into energy use intensities (kBtu/sq.ft) and levelized avoided cost of energy ($/kWh or kBtu), and assigning obligation to appropriate actors to reduce emissions.  Developing these strategies and managing the inevitable changes in the energy and utility sectors are not only necessary but possible with co-benefits.   


Edward P. Yim is an energy planner and lawyer who has advised on policy, regulatory, and legislative matters that concern the energy and utility sectors for the past 10 years for local and state governments and energy companies.  Recently, Mr. Yim has led the development of an energy plan for the District of Columbia that focused on reducing the District’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2032, called Clean Energy DC, a substantial portion of which has now been codified through legislation titled “the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018.”  Mr. Yim has also led the Department’s effort to develop its roadmap to modernize the energy infrastructure serving the District of Columbia so that it can facilitate the zero emissions energy economy in the future.  Currently, Mr. Yim is focused on developing analyses and strategies to turn all District communities into Net Zero Energy neighborhoods. Mr. Yim is a certified consultant for the Passive House Institute US, and he received his Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University, and his degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech.