Alternative energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels, are often touted as the solution to the waning global supply of oil and mounting evidence of carbon-induced climate change. But experts say that efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and diminish our reliance on oil from other nations are futile without a clean, safe, and viable way to store the energy generated with these alternatives. Without storage options, all the clean energy goes to waste.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, a score of policy makers, researchers, and industry experts will come together at Northeastern to explore the challenges of renewable energy conversion and storage in the first annual Renewable Energy Storage Symposium.
Hosted by Northeastern’s Center for Renewable Energy Technology, the event will give students and lay people the opportunity to interact with those on the frontlines of the energy storage field.
“Our focus here will be on the next generation of storage ideas with a special emphasis on materials challenges,” explained NUCRET director Sanjeev Mukerjee, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology.
Meeting presenters include Bill Tumas, director of the Center for Chemical and Materials Science at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., and Anthony Burrell, a senior chemist at Argonne National Laboratory. Scholars from across the nation and representatives from Sandia National Laboratories, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, will also share their experiences and present their ideas for making new storage technologies commercially viable.
“Without reliable storage strategies, the ultimate promise of alternative energy solutions may not be realized,” said provost Stephen W. Director. “We are excited about being able to host a meeting that is focused on this most important topic.”
The event is co-sponsored by Northeastern’s College of Science and its Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, as well as Sandia National Laboratories, and is being managed by the Knowledge Foundation, a Boston-based organization that is a leading source of information for the commercialization of advanced technologies. Registration is open to the public.