The aging infrastructure of the US electrical power system poses serious challenges for the future. To keep up with rising demand and make the most of our natural resources, we will need a system that can integrate effectively with renewable energy sources. Read more about the research we're doing to help meet those challenges.
The WEI is creating, integrating and transferring knowledge in energy sources, technologies, use and impacts. Our efforts focus on making breakthroughs in key areas of the energy sector:
- Carbon neutral electricity
- Liquid transportation fuels
- Energy storage
- Policy, economics and environment
Innovations in these fields will strengthen and diversify approaches to generating, storing, distributing, and using energy while conserving valuable and increasingly limited resources. The integration of research, discovery, and technology transfer that is central to the WEI’s approach is expected to provide a robust suite of clean energy strategies.
Renewable, energy-dense and carbon-storing, plants represent a fundamental piece of the sustainable energy puzzle. In addition to developing non-food crops for biofuel, the WEI is producing bioenergy feedstocks from animal waste and food residues for efficient, large-scale energy production that minimizes negative environmental impacts.
Liquid transportation fuels
We are leading the search for more sustainable future fuels. Advanced biofuels research harnesses key chemical, biological and model-driven process improvements to create renewable fuels for cars, trucks, ships and planes.
Solving the energy challenge will require an integrated network of technical solutions that are accessible, reliable and affordable. Researchers in this area are working on cutting-edge energy storage options that will increase stability in existing systems and build sustainable options for developing countries.
Carbon neutral electricity
Wind. Solar. Biogas. Nuclear. By coupling these carbon-neutral technologies with energy storage solutions, our experts are configuring renewable systems that could support a smarter energy grid.
Policy, economics and environment
Even the most innovative technology may not make an impact without sound policy and stakeholder engagement. Applying a sustainability lens to every technical challenge, our experts are involved in dialogue on public policy issues that surround new energy technologies.