The Initiative

Energy Education, Research, and Engagement

The Duke University Energy Initiative is focused on educating future leaders, researching to find solutions, and engaging with business and policy decision makers to address three major energy challenges:

  • Meeting growing energy demand to support a competitive and prosperous economy;
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of energy; and
  • Addressing energy security concerns.

Energy Initiative GraphicCreating energy solutions with the potential for real impact entails navigating a complex, global energy system, and then bringing ideas into practice. It requires seeing the whole energy picture, not just the parts, and performing innovative research to increase understanding and open up new possibilities. We are seeking to increase understanding and develop integrated solutions along three major pathways:

  • Innovative energy technologies, systems, and science;
  • Effective and efficient markets and financing mechanisms for energy and energy technologies; and
  • Creative and pragmatic energy and environmental policies and practices.

The University's vision for the Energy Initiative includes new research collaborations that span academic disciplines and institutional boundaries in fresh ways to create novel solutions; students who are skilled in addressing multiple realms of the energy challenge in an integrated way; alumni who apply these skills in leadership positions throughout the private, public, and non-governmental sectors; and a constructive problem-solving dialogue with business and policy decision makers that spans our campus, our country, and our world.

Energy Industry Fundamentals Workshop

The Initiative's approach to education, research, and engagement therefore cuts across disciplines and schools, bringing together Duke's assets in business, engineering, environment, law, policy, arts and sciences, and its interdisciplinary institutes. Collaboration and connection of knowledge to real-world problems is a hallmark of Duke's special strength in applying "knowledge in service of society." Duke's many campus energy activities further enrich the university community and provide hands-on opportunities for confronting these distinct yet interrelated energy problems.

Download a flyer that describes our work.