Energy I Session
Most of our electricity comes from coal, natural gas, nuclear, and other non-renewable power plants. Producing energy from these resources has negative effects on our environment, polluting our air, land, and water.
Renewable energy sources can be used to produce electricity with fewer environmental impacts. It is possible to make electricity from renewable energy sources without producing CO2, the leading cause of global climate change.
Renewable energy is energy derived from natural resources that replenish themselves over a period of time without depleting the Earth’s resources. These resources also have the benefit of being abundant, available in some capacity nearly everywhere, and they cause little, if any, environmental damage. Energy from the sun, wind, and thermal energy stored in the Earth’s crust are examples. For comparison, fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas are not renewable, since their quantity is finite—once we have extracted them, they will cease to be available for use as an economically-viable energy source. While they are produced through natural processes, these processes are too slow to replenish these fuels as quickly as humans use them, so these sources will run out sooner or later.
Transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based on renewable resources creates the impetus to develop energy storage technology with higher energy density, enhanced safety, and reduced cost.
Topics will include
- Photovoltaics and Energy Harvesting
- Hydrogen energy and storage
- Water-Splitting for Renewable Hydrogen Production via Electrochemical, Thermochemical, Chemical Cycles and Photoelectrochemical Processes
- Catalysis, Alternative Energy and Fuels
- Computational modeling and design of materials and devices
- Materials theory and first principle computation for understanding the limitations of current solar cell materials and for designing new material systems
- Thermoelectric Materials