Experts say that Japan’s recent difficulty with nuclear waste delineates a need for advancements in technology of renewable energy – one of the main focuses of Energy Week 2011.
“After the tragedy in Japan, we are reminded about the vulnerability of some of our energy technologies,” said Bryan Jenkins, director of the UC Davis Energy Institute.
Today through Thursday, the Davis community is hosting Energy Week 2011. The event will provide an opportunity to learn and discuss renewable and sustainable energy development and policy with top academic, governmental and corporate leaders in the field. Forums and workshops on solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and other sources of energy will be the highlights of the week with the end goal being a general movement toward a sustainable energy system.
“Pressing problems continue to be, on the demand side, making people aware of the amount of energy they use and reducing it through energy efficiency,” said Rob Kamisky, associate development engineer with the California Wind Energy Collaborative. “On the supply side, [problems are] continuing to look for alternatives and increasing renewable and low carbon energy sources.”
On Monday, the week will kick off with welcome speeches delivered by Jenkins and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. Afterward, the day will feature the California Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Forum, hosted by Cal-IRES. Cal-IRES is part of the California Renewable Energy Collaborative and is focused on the integration of principles and technologies of renewable energy research.
“One of the things that is exciting about our program is that on Monday, we have state and national focus, and a policy roundtable that takes a pretty deep dive into the issues,” said Ronnie Holland, project manager of Cal-IRES.
Speakers will discuss topics of resource availability, cost performance, preferred technologies and environmental and deployment issues among many other issues.
The Wind Forum, hosted by the California Wind Energy Collaborative on Tuesday, will be focused on wind energy developments in California as well as California’s offshore wind resource opportunities.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the eighth annual Forum of the California Biomass Collaborative will be reviewing the progress in the three different sources of biomass energy: wood residues from forestry, urban derived biomass and energy resources from California’s food processing industry.
The Solar Forum, hosted by the California Solar Energy Collaborative, will discuss current policy and regulatory issues, technological developments, current technology and future incentives for the use of solar power.
“Research on resources, technology and policy management alternatives engage in issues of life cycle, environmental and social impacts, as well as a gamut of issues around sustainability, helping the state work toward a more sustainable energy system,” Jenkins said.
Finally, Thursday will hold An Introduction to Geothermal Energy – a workshop sponsored by the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative. According to regonline.com, geothermal energy is one of California’s most significant sources of renewable energy and can provide the energy needed for necessary functions with little or no greenhouse gas emissions.
Organizers of Energy Week also aim to get more students involved in renewable energy discussions.
“We wanted to see how many students we can involve in this program, and we got a very good response with over 40 students that are attending, all from different and relevant majors,” Holland said.
On a more global and national level, Energy Week 2011 represents the world’s general movement toward renewable energy and sustainable living. In his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced a goal of 80 percent of US electricity supply to be from clean, renewable energy by 2035.
“Obama has set goals, and California has goals, and Governor Brown has goals, and all are very ambitious goals,” Holland said.
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