Three female students wearing McDonald's aprons pose in a traditional McDonald's kitchen in 2014
Posted On: Thursday, Aug 27, 2020 - 12:39 pm

A new global flagship McDonald's at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will generate all its own energy from renewable sources. Six years ago, Duke University graduate students Emily Conner, Maria Ramirez Millan, and Lane Wallace partnered with McDonald's to conduct a study on the feasibility of designing a net-zero energy restaurant. The Duke students' report "allowed our teams a unique opportunity to think beyond what 'was' and focus on what could be," said Steve DePalo, Director of North American Sustainability at McDonald's. 

Posted On: Monday, Aug 24, 2020 - 12:46 pm

The outlook for Duke University's ambitious efforts to become carbon-neutral by 2024 just got brighter. The university announced that it will bolster its renewable energy capabilities through the purchase of 101 megawatts of solar capacity from three new solar farms in NC, starting as soon as next year. The university's partnership with NC-based Pine Gate Renewables is expected to generate 235,000-240,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy each year or about 50% of Duke’s annual electricity needs. The new solar energy could be online as soon as next year. The partnership is the largest such initiative in NC under Duke Energy's Green Source Advantage program. 

Posted On: Friday, Aug 21, 2020 - 11:23 am

Californians face a record-breaking heatwave, wildfires, and pandemic shifts in electricity usage--and many are now experiencing rolling blackouts. Writing for Forbes, Energy Initiative director Dr. Brian Murray examines the challenges facing energy systems out West and considers what the global financial crisis of 2008-09 might reveal about potential solutions. 

Posted On: Wednesday, Jul 29, 2020 - 12:40 pm

Nearly a billion people in the world lack access to electricity. This global challenge is made all the more daunting by gaps in critical data about existing energy infrastructure.

Posted On: Wednesday, Jul 29, 2020 - 12:00 am

The initiative, a collaboration between the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke Law, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the National Whistleblower Center, will improve corporate reporting of climate-related risk and facilitate information sharing and policy development.

Posted On: Tuesday, Jul 21, 2020 - 9:41 am

In 2019, nuclear energy provided a whopping 55% of America’s carbon-free electricity. Yet the nation’s existing nuclear infrastructure is aging and there are virtually no new plants being built in the U.S. Research and development is underway on new designs for nuclear reactors that seek to completely change the paradigm for nuclear energy. The webinar features insights from nuclear energy experts Dr. Rachel Slaybaugh (ARPA-E and UC Berkeley) and Jessica Lovering (Carnegie Mellon and Energy for Growth Hub). The conversation is moderated by Dr. Eric Rohlfing, Energy Initiative executive-in-residence and former acting director of ARPA-E.

Posted On: Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020 - 11:31 am

Latin America has been developing one of the world's most formidable renewable energy sectors. At this webinar in July 2020, Duke professor Dr. Christine Folch was joined by alumnae Dr. Stephanie Friede (PhD'18) and Odette Rouvet (MIDP'18) in analyzing key lessons from the region's renewable energy experiments. In many cases, the experts noted, the social, economic, and political context of a project is even more complex than the physics that makes its engineering possible—and is no less critical to its ultimate success. The webinar was organized by the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Duke University Energy Initiative

Posted On: Wednesday, Jul 01, 2020 - 3:15 pm

Watch a panel of Duke University and industry experts as they discuss how the electric power sector is weathering COVID-19-related challenges—and what the impact might be for the energy transition. The panel created by Duke's Science and Society, in partnership with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the Duke University Energy Initiative.

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Posted On: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020 - 9:05 am

In late February 2020, many of the student emails in Stacy Peterson’s inbox were studded with exclamation points.

Posted On: Friday, Jun 26, 2020 - 1:53 pm

Does the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) interest in carbon pricing reflect federal policy priorities? Not necessarily, but it does indicate a surge of momentum among states & other entities. Brian Murray, the director of the Energy Initiative and a professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment, writes for Forbes on this momentum.