Alter¬na¬tive energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels, are often touted as the solu¬tion to the waning global supply of oil and mounting evi¬dence of carbon-induced cli¬mate change. But experts say that efforts to reduce our carbon foot¬print and diminish our reliance on oil from other nations are futile without a clean, safe, and viable way to store the energy gen¬er¬ated with these alter¬na¬tives. Without storage options, all the clean energy goes to waste.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, a score of policy makers, researchers, and industry experts will come together at North¬eastern to explore the chal¬lenges of renew¬able energy con¬ver¬sion and storage in the first annual Renew¬able Energy Storage Sym¬po¬sium.
Hosted by Northeastern’s Center for Renew¬able Energy Tech¬nology, the event will give stu¬dents and lay people the oppor¬tu¬nity to interact with those on the front¬lines of the energy storage field.
“Our focus here will be on the next gen¬er¬a¬tion of storage ideas with a spe¬cial emphasis on mate¬rials chal¬lenges,” explained NUCRET director San¬jeev Muk¬erjee, a pro¬fessor of chem¬istry and chem¬ical biology.
Meeting pre¬sen¬ters include Bill Tumas, director of the Center for Chem¬ical and Mate¬rials Sci¬ence at the National Renew¬able Energy Lab¬o¬ra¬tory in Golden, Colo., and Anthony Bur¬rell, a senior chemist at Argonne National Lab¬o¬ra¬tory. Scholars from across the nation and rep¬re¬sen¬ta¬tives from Sandia National Lab¬o¬ra¬to¬ries, a con¬tractor for the U.S. Depart¬ment of Energy’s National Nuclear Secu¬rity Admin¬is¬tra¬tion, will also share their expe¬ri¬ences and present their ideas for making new storage tech-nolo¬gies com¬mer¬cially viable.
“Without reli¬able storage strate¬gies, the ulti¬mate promise of alter¬na¬tive energy solu¬tions may not be real¬ized,” said provost Stephen W. Director. “We are excited about being able to host a meeting that is focused on this most impor¬tant topic.”
The event is co-sponsored by Northeastern’s Col¬lege of Sci¬ence and its Depart¬ment of Chem¬istry and Chem¬ical Biology, as well as Sandia National Lab¬o¬ra¬to¬ries, and is being man¬aged by the Knowl¬edge Foun¬da¬tion, a Boston-based orga¬ni¬za¬tion that is a leading source of infor¬ma¬tion for the com¬mer¬cial¬iza-tion of advanced tech¬nolo¬gies. Reg¬is¬tra¬tion is open to the public.