The 2012 Bioenergy State Fact Sheets, released in November by the Southeast Agriculture & Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER), provide valuable information about what the states are doing in renewable energy and where they rank nationally for electricity and transportation fuel production and usage.
In addition to facts on biomass resources, land uses, energy expenditures and electricity prices, the fact sheets also include a map highlighting the location and type of biomass facilities in each state.
Kentucky's Bioenergy Fact Sheet is available as a pdf on SAFER's website.
The University of Louisville will present a new $50,000 award – the Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy – to recognize outstanding energy ideas or achievements that have shown or likely will have global impact. The award is intended to spotlight wide-ranging research related to the science, technology, engineering and commercialization of renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout the world.
The prize, managed by UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, is named for the late daughter of Hank and Rebecca Conn of Atlanta, research center supporters and prize benefactors. The recipient will be announced in fall 2013 and will give a public talk in Louisville about the winning work and participate in community and campus events as well as a medal ceremony.
“This unique prize will show the world that UofL and the Conn family are serious about growing, fostering and rewarding innovation in energy research,” UofL President James Ramsey said.
Nominations will be judged on factors such as economic effect, level of challenge, originality, creativity, scientific merit, commercialization and global impact on energy use and demand reduction. Organizers encourage nominations from scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, technologists, professional groups, publishers and university leaders.
Award submissions will go through several levels of review, including an external panel with representatives from industry, academia and national laboratories.
Nominations for the first Leigh Ann Conn Prize recipient will be accepted now until March 1, 2013; criteria and directions are available on the Conn Center's website. Applications received later will be considered for the 2014 competition.
The 2009 UofL Alumnus of the Year, Hank Conn earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Speed School of Engineering and a master of business administration from the College of Business. He is former vice president of global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney Inc.
For more information, contact Andrew Marsh, Conn Center assistant director, at LeighAnnConnPrize@louisville.edu.
From the 25x'25 REsource e-news
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report in November estimating that global energy demand will grow by more than one-third in a little more than 20 years. That kind of surge in demand will be a daunting challenge. But the projection also shows the critical role renewable energy and energy efficiency must play to meet that mind-bending increase in power and transportation need.
The World Energy Outlook report presents authoritative projections of energy trends through 2035 and insight into what it means for energy security, environmental sustainability and economic development. The report, which covers all energy sources, together with an update on climate change issues, says that by 2035, the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer and, in fact, by 2030, could be a net oil exporter.
The report also says that on a global scale, some $523 billion was invested in fossil fuels in 2011, compared to only $88 billion for renewable energy resources. U.S. investment tracks the global ratio, with fossil fuels drawing seven times the subsidies as that spent to support renewables. The IEA makes clear that fossil fuels will remain dominant in the global energy mix over the next couple of decades.
Renewable resources, says the IEA, are set to be world’s second-largest source of power generation by 2015. The report also details a scenario that shows what energy efficiency improvements can be achieved simply by adopting measures that are justified in economic terms, including calling on policy leaders to deploy a mix of regulations to discourage the least energy efficient approaches, while offering incentives for taking the most energy efficient actions.
From EKU news
The Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT) at Eastern Kentucky University recently wrapped up its BioEnergy Activity Modules (BEAM) Initiative. BEAM was launched two years ago to inspire the next generation of research scientists, community leaders, engineers and educators to get involved in a sustainable bioenergy industry. Through the past two years of the Initiative, more than 18,000 Kentucky students have participated in interactive classroom activities that demonstrated bioenergy curriculum through hands-on learning.
The BEAM Initiative was administered through CRAFT thanks to a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and through partnerships with EKU’s Office of Regional Stewardship and Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) and the Kentucky branch of National Energy Education Development (NEED).
"The BEAM Initiative provided teachers with materials and supplies that informed, involved, and energized students in developing an understanding and knowledge of bioenergy and how bioenergy affects their daily lives,” said EKU Extension Agent David Gover.
CRAFT research assistant Gary Selby, one of many who helped develop the BEAM activities, said: "Through BEAM, students began to understand important technologies that are changing the way we live. The BEAM kit activities helped students understand the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.”
In July 2011, CRAFT staff sought to bolster a perceived lack of bioenergy-related curriculum in Kentucky schools by designing hands-on classroom activities that demonstrated fundamental concepts such as renewable plastics, fermentation for ethanol production, and using biomass as a source of energy.
“We understood that classroom teachers and informal community educators are really interested in teaching their students this subject, but they may not have the resources to develop targeted bioenergy curriculum,” said Brad Barnett, program coordinator for CRAFT.
During the first year of the project, BEAM kits contained lesson plans for the classroom activities and supplies for up to 90 students. In its second year, the kit was expanded by adding a new classroom activity, subject content and teacher guides.
In addition to the updated BEAM kits, CRAFT hosted two workshops on the Richmond campus for Kentucky educators to demonstrate and gain feedback on BEAM kit activity modules. Twenty-three educators (both formal and informal) attended the workshops and supplied invaluable feedback on how to make activities more useful to their students and ideas on how to improve the activities if the project is renewed. CRAFT Director Bruce Pratt said the BEAM Teacher Workshops were beneficial for teachers who attended as well as for CRAFT staff.
To learn more about BEAM and browse the library of BEAM activity documents, visit EKU's CRAFT website or contact Brad Barnett at email@example.com.
The Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI) has announced the opening of the application period for energy research grants. DEDI seeks applications from post-secondary educational institutions, commercial/industrial entities and non-profit organizations involved in energy research or whose business affects or is affected by energy issues.
Types of applicable research projects are restricted. Please refer to the Energy Research Application Manual on DEDI's website.
Applications are due on or before December 10, 2012. Grant awards are planned to commence on February 1, 2013. For more information visit the Energy Research Grant website or contact Paul Brooks at (502) 564-7192.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an updated version of its "Energy Web" site, which offers agricultural, economic and social data on renewable energy to assist stakeholders, public users, state and local government in identifying opportunities, activities and USDA’s projects in renewable energy.
Using suggestions made from users since the site was originally launched in January, the version 2.0 site offers new resources, new reporting features and updated investment current through August of this year. Among some of the enhanced features of Energy Web include an Energy Investments Map that contains information about USDA programs that offer assistance to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The maps display investment location, type of energy investment, amount of assistance provided and the administering USDA program.
There are pie charts, graphs and report listings to emphasize investment data. Another new feature is the ability to print screen reports, with data that can be exported in various formats. The third element of the site, a Renewable Energy Tool, serves to help stakeholders identify renewable energy opportunities by providing access to agricultural, economic, social and technical data and information resources that are relevant to the evaluation of potential opportunities.
USDA officials say the Energy Web is a work in progress, and are encouraging feedback as the department plans additional enhancements, including access to more data, success stories, additional functionality and more tools. Visit the Energy Web on USDA's site.
KREC would like to publish your thoughts on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky in the "Members' Forum". Please send your opinions, articles or news about RE happenings in the Commonwealth to KREC@kppc.org. A short piece is preferable (300 or fewer words work best).
Make your voice heard – we want to give KREC members a forum to spread the word about renewable energy efforts and issues.