A Duke University undergraduate team has taken top honors in the North American division of Schneider Electric’s 2017 Go Green in the City case competition, which focuses on sustainable energy approaches in urban environments. In October, rising juniors Ankit Rastogi and Zui Dighe will head to Paris to compete with 11 other teams from across the world for the international prize. Learn more about the team's solution—and how "the Duke experience" has supported their success.
This summer a team of Duke undergraduates developed means to evaluate electricity access in developing countries through machine learning techniques applied to aerial imagery data. The students, participants in the university's Data+ program, created valuable datasets for use by energy access researchers and practitioners—and also developed a tool for crowdsourcing the data collection. Their work was led by researchers from the Energy Initiative's Energy Data Analytics Lab and the Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative.
California lawmakers extended the state's innovative cap-and-trade program on July 17, 2017. The next day, expert panelists shared insights on the new law's implications for California and Canadian provinces in a webinar moderated by Duke University Energy Initiative interim director Brian Murray (who is also director of the environmental economics program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions).
Each spring, the Duke University Energy Initiative partners with the EDGE Center at Duke's Fuqua School of Business to organize Women in Energy, an event highlighting the insights and experiences of female energy professionals. Check out some of the advice that this year's speakers shared—and what Duke students had to say about the event.
Duke University professor Lincoln Pratson has launched a second massive open online course (MOOC) addressing energy industry fundamentals, via the Coursera platform.
William S. Schlesinger (Dean Emeritus of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment) is one of the nation’s leading ecologists and earth scientists and a passionate advocate for translating science for lay audiences. In this blog post, he describes the benefits, costs, and risks of carbon storage, concluding, "We can’t depend on CCS forever, but it may well be an important way to reduce emissions to the atmosphere as we transition away from fossil fuels. Perhaps we can catch the President’s ear between tweets."
Rising sophomore Anuj Thakkar (E'20) proposes that blockchain technology could help advance the spread of distributed energy resources, given the right pricing protocols and conditions. This blog links to a longer paper Thakkar authored on the topic.
A Duke faculty member since 2012, Jesko von Windheim is widely respected both as an educator and as a technology entrepreneur focused primarily on early-stage innovations in the physical sciences. He holds eight patents; has published numerous peer-reviewed papers in the fields of solar cell research and diamond thin film materials; and has played a key role in the creation or development of numerous manufacturing companies based on new materials, processes and functionality. He directs the Nicholas School’s Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (EIE) in addition to teaching graduate-level courses on entrepreneurship and mentoring undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. Von Windheim recently received a $996,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the development of a smart, flexible large-scale sensing technology to detect underground oil leaks.
In a commentary published by Slate, Duke alumnus and former Energy Initiative staffer Daniel Raimi analyzes the new energy catchphrase "American energy dominance," originally used in 2016 speeches by President Trump and now adopted by numerous federal officials. Raimi concludes, "Like its forerunner, energy independence, the notion of American energy dominance is unrealistic, given the outsize role global markets play compared with U.S. policy, and it unwisely distracts from the goals that should be shaping U.S. energy policy." Raimi is senior research associate at Resources for the Future and a lecturer at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy.
Do energy efficiency “audits” really benefit companies over time? An interdisciplinary team of Duke researchers (economist Gale Boyd, statistician Jerry Reiter, and doctoral student Nicole Dalzell) have been tackling this question as it applies to a long-running Department of Energy (DOE) effort that is slated for elimination under President Trump’s proposed budget.
Since 1976, the DOE’s Industrial Assessments Centers (IAC) program has aimed to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers to become more energy-efficient by providing free energy “audits” from universities across the country. (Currently, 28 universities take part, including North Carolina State University.)
The Duke researchers’ project, supported by an Energy Research Seed Fund grant, has yielded a statistically sound new technique for matching publicly available IAC data with confidential plant information collected in the U.S. Census of Manufacturing (CMF).
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