Massively decarbonize our nation’s energy system within the next one to three decades. This has been called the moonshot of our time. Energy Initiative Director Brian Murray explains that it is much more than that. Our modern energy system is an amalgamation of science, technology, economics, law, and behavioral psychology. Solving the engineering part of decarbonization is not easy, but the other stuff is even harder.
A vehicle built at Duke University has broken the Guinness World Record for electric vehicle efficiency, traveling 797 miles per kilowatt-hour, or 27,482 MPGe. The new record was confirmed by Guinness on July 9.
For the first time since the build-out of the US electric power system in the first half of the twentieth century, renewable energy sources surpassed coal in the nation’s monthly electricity generation mix. While this is great news for the renewable industry, how long will it last? Energy Initiative Director, Brian Murray, takes a closer look at the data.
While the race to 2020 heats up, certain candidates are putting forth plans to end, or "significantly curb," fracking in the United States. Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute, weighed in. While she thinks it would be hard to prohibit, and finding the plans "audacious," the author states that carbon dioxide is "now rising at rates that are unprecedented in historic and geologic time."
Director Brian Murray weighs in on growing concern about two nuclear plants in Ohio. These plants might have to be shut down due to profitability, rather the fact that they cannot generate enough revenue. "Despite the lack of firm data, there are signs that they are in economic distress," said Murray, "The best evidence of that, he said, is that neither plant cleared the regional capacity market."
Modern Energy Group, a Durham-based asset management company focused on investing in sustainable energy companies, has raised a whopping $42.4 million in equity, according to a recent SEC filing. The company was started by Duke Alum Ben Abram who graduated with two degrees: Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as Public Policy.
Daniel Raimi talks with Professor Subhrendu Pattanayak of Duke University. Daniel and Subhrendu talk about what policy and market factors might make it easier to expand energy access, and Subhrendu explains how dynamics within these communities can affect the likelihood of small-scale electricity projects to succeed or fail.
Energy Initiative's director, Brian Murray, writes for Forbes: the levelized cost per unit of electricity from new utility-scale clean energy has dropped about 70 and 90 percent, respectively. In many places, the cost of new renewable generation is at or below that of existing conventional sources like natural gas, coal and nuclear. Yet, a recent study suggests that policies have driven up the retail price of electricity. Brian dives into detail about the paradox of rising and lowering electric costs.
In fall 2018, Engineering Dean Ravi V. Bellamkonda posed a challenge to Duke Engineering faculty, staff, and students: Could they find high-impact ways to make the school greener and more environmentally sustainable? The community-wide initiative is called "GREENgineering." It’s focused on high-impact yet achievable projects related to improving sustainability awareness, increasing recycling, reducing waste, and energy use. A significant goal of the initiative is to have each of Duke Engineering’s 77 faculty research laboratories achieve Green Lab Certification through Sustainable Duke by the start of the fall 2019 semester. The impact would be big—research labs use five times more energy on average than other campus spaces.
Elizabeth Albright, an assistant professor at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment is quoted, "Most studies do suggest that experiencing an extreme event does affect one's beliefs about climate change." This article explains that more people are facing climate change and its effects head-on. People are questioning it less, but now need to be motivated to take action about turning the tide.
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