Thank you for a successful workshop! The presentations can be found here.

Lecture 1 focused on the application of life cycle thinking to energy systems, with particular emphasis on case studies that illustrate how life cycle approaches have changed our understanding of specific sustainability issues associated with renewable energy technologies. Key topics covered included an overview of LCA, development and current state of the field, use of LCA in research, development, and design of sustainable energy systems, and limitations of the methodology, particularly when applied to emerging technologies.

Lecture 2 delved into LCA methodology to demonstrate the process by which this technique can be applied to enhance and complement sustainable energy systems research.  Key topics covered included how to develop an appropriate LCA scope, methods for creating an inventory of life cycle input (energy, raw materials, water) and output (emissions and waste) flows, how to link these flows with their resultant environmental and human health impact potentials, and the interpretation of LCA results to meet research goals.  As LCA is an extremely complex method, the goal of this workshop was not to fully train participants on all aspects of its implementation, but to provide an appreciation for the method, the necessary tools for beginning an investigation, and an overall appreciation of a life cycle perspective when developing renewable energy technologies.

The PIRE annual conference  took place on May 19th and 20th in Houffalize, Belgium! You can find more information about it here.

Report: Wind and Solar Energy Have Tripled Since 2008
February 8, 2015

We worry a lot about the problem of climate change. And we try to fix it — again, again and again — by changing how the country uses energy.

What we don’t stop and ponder enough, though, is that the country is changing how it uses energy. It’s certainly not enough to silence all environmental concerns. But nonetheless, the progress, when you sample it, is really impressive.

Such is the takeaway from a new report out by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which has just released its 2015 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, prepared for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. Looking back over recent years, the report shows that on any number of metrics, progress in clean energy has really been immense.

Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/04/report-wind-and-solar-energy-have-tripled-since-2008/

U.S. Industry Expects Tipping Point For Offshore Wind
October 9, 2014

Many company executives and wind power stakeholders believe the U.S. offshore wind industry is turning a corner, with construction of more than one offshore project set to begin in 2015, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). This week, industry members and government officials met at AWEA's 2014 Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition in Atlantic City to discuss the growing sector.

"We are going to put steel in the water in 2015," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the AWEA, during the conference. "By developing offshore wind power, we can create well-paying jobs, attract billions of dollars in private investment into our national economy and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions for generations to come.”

Read more at: http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.13510

Solar Power Could be World's Main Energy Source by 2050

September 29, 2014

Energy agency predicts sun could overtake oil, gas as main source of energy on the planet.

By mid-century, the sun could be the largest source of energy and help reign in global warming by preventing the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

The bullish report is the latest dose of good news for the solar industry that has seen phenomenal growth. Global demand is expected to double every two years through 2022 as prices fall and the technology continues to improve. The United States is one of the markets poised for strong growth.

Read more at: http://fortune.com/2014/09/29/solar-power-could-be-worlds-main-energy-source-by-2050/

Energy Department Reports Highlight Strength of U.S. Wind Energy Industry

August 18, 2014

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. continues to be a global leader in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity in the world, according to two reports released today by the Department of Energy. Wind power is a key component of the nation’s all-of-the-above strategy to reduce carbon pollution, diversify our energy economy, and bring innovative technologies on line. With increasing wind energy generation and decreasing prices of wind energy technologies, the U.S. wind energy market remains strong and the U.S. is moving closer to doubling renewable electricity generation from energy resources like wind power yet again by 2020.

Read more at: http://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-reports-highlight-strength-us-wind-energy-industry