|UNC center hosts public forum on sustainable energy, conference on solar power|
|Tuesday, January 05, 2010|
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Solar Energy Research Center will hold a public forum and information session to explore crucial energy issues of the coming decades.
The free event, “A Sustainable Energy Future ‐ Mapping the Way,”will be Friday, Jan. 15, at the William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill.
The event begins at 5 p.m. with interactive displays and videos. The presentations will review climate and energy security issues; current research and local and global green technologies and policies; possible future directions; and how societal, policy and commercial efforts could guide such changes. Attendees will have opportunities to ask questions of the presenters.
At 7 p.m., an open panel discussion will assess how the world can shift from using mostly fossil fuels to a future based on more secure and environmentally friendly alternatives. Issues include the current status of such technologies, future energy demands, and political, social, economic and business hurdles.
The panel will feature experts on current and developing energy sources, conservation and efficiency, and politics and public policy. Panel members will include leaders from the environmental, scientific and business communities and government officials. Scheduled speakers include Thomas J. Meyer, Ph.D., center director and Arey Professor of Chemistry in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences; John Boyes, manager, energy storage and distributed energy resources, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.; Tim Toben, chair, North Carolina Energy Policy Council and a principal in green energy and green building ventures including Greenbridge Developments; Chris Clemens, co-founder of MegaWatt Solar and professor of astrophysics at UNC; Thomas A. Stith III, program director for economic development, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Kenan-Flagler Business School; and Rep. Joe Hackney, speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Refreshments will be provided. For more details, see: www.serc.unc.edu/outreach.pdf.
The forum is part of the center’s second annual scientific conference, which takes place Thursday, Jan. 14 and Friday, Jan. 15.
The symposium, “Solar Fuels and Energy Storage: the Unmet Needs,” will feature a dozen speakers addressing current research into finding better ways to tap and store the sun’s energy, such as converting it into fuels or storing electrical energy for later use. More information and registration details for the conference are at www.serc.unc.edu.
The center’s research is focused on creating storable solar fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas by artificial photosynthesis, and on creating lower cost, next-generation organic and hybrid photovoltaics, such as solar shingles. The center is supported by about $20 million in research grants, including a $17.5 million Department of Energy grant for an Energy Frontier Research Center based at UNC and involving collaborations with scientists at N.C. State, N.C. Central and Duke universities, as well as the University of Florida and the Research Triangle Institute. For more information, go to http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/2506/107.
Solar Energy Research Center contact: Robert Pinschmidt, (919) 843-6555,
or Will Thauer, (919) 843-8312,
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