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Meeting the Energy Challenges of New Jersey and the Nation

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) integrates Rutgers’ expertise in science, engineering, economics, and policy, putting it at the forefront of alternative energy research. At this critical juncture in history, we have the opportunity to transition from 20th-century technologies to those that sustain economic growth and preserve the integrity of our environment.

about REI

Latest Announcements

 
Ninth Annual Energy Symposium - May 6, 2014

The annual energy symposia by the Rutgers Energy Institute provide faculty, students, staff, government officials, and community members with the opportunity to learn about the new methods, processes, and initiatives being developed by energy thinkers at Rutgers, in New Jersey, and across the country.

The symposium will also include awards to the winners of this year's student Energy Innovation contest, sponsored by the Rutgers Energy Institute, to develop the best plans to reduce student energy consumption and promote eco-friendly practices throughout the Rutgers, New Brunswick Campus.

  • Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
  • Time: 8:30 am (registration and refreshments) - 2:00 pm
  • Location: Fiber Optics Auditorium , Busch Campus, Rutgers University 
  • Special note on parking: Visitors may park in Lots 51, 59, 60a, and 60b without permits and does not include free metered parking. Faculty, Staff, and Students must park only in lots they are authorized to park in.   

Speakers:     

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Heather Zichal , former Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change (Barack Obama administration)
Bio
Abstract

 

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Frank Felder, Director of Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
Bio and Abstract
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Frank Napolitano, Managing Director and Group Head, U.S. Power & Utilities, RBC Capital Markets 
Bio and Abstract 
 
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Robert H. Socolow ,Co-Director, The Carbon Mitigation Initiative; Director, Climate and Energy Challenge, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University
Bio and Abstract 

 

If you have additional questions, please contact Beatrice Birrer: E-Mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 848-932-3436  

 
The Energy Innovation Contest 2013-2014

for Rutgers New Brunswick Undergraduate Students
Sponsored by The Rutgers Energy Institute

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) is hosting its annual energy competition intended to engage students in devising creative and innovative solutions in reducing energy wasted at Rutgers.  "Energy Innovation" is the challenge for this 2014 competition.  

The Goal:
Presently, student, staff and faculty use of the standing buildings and infrastructure of the Rutgers campus complex at New Brunswick/Piscataway accounts for approximately 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually to the atmosphere each year. Factoring in commuting students, faculty, and staff, and the total emissions are increased to an estimated 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.  One goal of the Rutgers Energy Institute is to work with students, faculty and staff across the campus complex to make the university carbon neutral by 2030.

The Challenge:
To develop an implementable plan reducing student energy consumption on campus as well as promoting awareness about smarter eco-friendly practices across campus.  Students must demonstrate how energy can be conserved by creating innovative solutions to common energy expenditures.

Eligibility:
Enrolled undergraduate students in any program on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus are eligible. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible. Register for the competition by sending an email indicating intent to submit an entry to Beatrice Birrer at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it no later than March 14, 2014.


Submission Date:
Proposals should be submitted on or before April 1, 2014 via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Prizes:
Three awards ($2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place) will be awarded to undergraduate students or teams who have submitted energy reduction plans selected to be the most innovative, practical, and low-cost solutions by a panel composed of faculty chosen by the REI Advisory Board.  

 
REI Energy Policy Seminar Series Spring 2014

SeminarsStarting on February 7, 2014 the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (BSPPP) will commence the spring term with it's Energy Policy Seminar Series with Richard York, Departments of Environmental Studies and Sociology, University of Oregon.

Leaders from various arenas in the energy policy field will be speaking at Rutgers University on the following dates.  Lectures start at 10:30AM (with refreshments  at 10:00AM) or 1:00PM.  Go to our Events Calendar page for  information on directions.


DateSpeaker/AffliationTitleLocationBio/ Abstract
1/31/2014
Richard York, Professor, Departments of Environmental Studies and Sociology, University of Oregon  "The Challenges of Reducing Fossil Fuel Use" Alampi Room (IMCS)   
2/7/2014 10:30AM
Holmes Hummel, Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy & International Affairs
“Answering the calls of our time: Insights of interdisciplinary scholarship that can illuminate paths to action on climate change and more”
Alampi Room (IMCS)

Bio

Abstract 

3/7/2014 10:30AM
Rachel Shwom,  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Human Ecology, Rutgers University "Governing Risky Technologies: The Case of Climate Engineering Strategies"
Alampi Room (IMCS)  
4/11/2014 10:30AM
Elisabeth Gilmore, Assistant Professor, Energy and Environmental Policy School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
"Expanding global nuclear energy generation capacity with small modular reactors (SMRs)"
Alampi Room (IMCS)

Bio

Abstract

4/23/2014

12:00Noon

David W Titley, Rear Admiral USN (ret.) Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk Penn State Department of Meteorology
"Climate Change and National Security: People not Polar Bears"
Alampi Room (IMCS)
4/25/2014 10:30AM
Robert B. Noland, Professor and Director, Voorhees Transportation Center, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
"Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Transportation Sector" Alampi Room (IMCS)  
         
 
2013 REI Energy Contest Winners

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The Rutgers Energy Institute annually challenges Rutgers undergraduates to develop implementable plans for reducing energy consumption on campus.  The three winning entries were awarded prizes at the 2013 REI Annual Symposium on May 7th.

The REI gratefully acknowledges sponsorship of the Energy Contest by Sapphire Energy Inc.

View Presentation Video by REI Associate Director Kevin Lyons

1st Place for $2,500: Reducing Utility Consumption via Incentives (RUCVI)

Joe Woo, Matthew Lu, Moiz Rauf

Major(s) Materials Science & Engineering (all). Abstract: Proposal for the implementation of a novel incentivisation program which, in close collaboration with the Residence Hall Association,  can serve to reduce utility consumption to the greatest extent possible. Step 1: Measure average electricity, heating, and water usage per residence hall; set a realistic target for reduction of energy expenditure (i.e.: reduce 10% of this measured consumption) for subsequent years. Step 2: Implement a monetary reward system, coupled with real-time visual feedback of energy savings, to maximally incentivize students to reach and surpass this target figure. Step 3: Carefully monitor term-by-term statistics to revise the program implementation strategy and further optimize revenue.

2nd Place for $1,500: RU New to Eco-Friendly Transportation

Adam Cucchiara

Major: Landscape Industry. Abstract: The RU New to Eco-Friendly Transportation consists of a multiyear process to introduce two new forms of transportation to this university. Those two methods include a purely electric-powered monorail system and a series of bike lanes. Both will provide easy access for students to each campus without the distraction of local roads and traffic. The monorail track itself will supply a shelter for the bike lanes that will be installed underneath. To ensure the use of these lanes, Rutgers will promote a bike sharing system. This system has been around for dozens of years as it is utilized mostly in Europe and has shown to be effective. These bike sharing rental stations will be located on each campus and only be exclusive for students and faculty. With the introduction of these two methods, the use of busses will be minimized.

3rd Place for $1,000: Alternative Lawns - Using clover as an eco-sustainable alternative to grass

Kelsey Noll, Steven Daniels

Major(s): Genetics Minor(s): Spanish Daniels Major(s): Marine Sciences - Biological Oceanography. Abstract: Traditional grass lawns are costly, time-consuming, and not a sustainable, environmentally friendly option. Planting a White Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens) lawn as opposed to a traditional Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratenis) lawn reduces the fiscal and physical investment of lawn maintenance and promotes more sustainable practices, all while maintaining the green lawn appeal. This project investigates this lawn alternative, among others, and considers the advantages and disadvantages when compared to a traditional grass lawn. We have compiled our findings as a proposal to benefit Rutgers University and homeowners alike. We have created plans to implement clover lawns on both the engineering quad on Busch Campus and at Rutgers Gardens, which will make on-campus lawn maintenance more efficient while also educating the public about this alternative. Additionally, the project includes a start-up guide to planting a clover lawn to educate any interested individual who would like to grow such a lawn.

Honorable Mention: Tray-less Dining Halls

Pooja Pancholi, Sara Yesalavich, Rashmi Singh, Erin Conner

Abstract: Dining halls are significant contributors to water usage, food waste, and electricity usage, along with other forms of energy. Because of this, they can have a profound impact on the environment, even when compared to other parts of college campuses. Our program aims to eliminate the use of trays by slowly fazing them out over time. By eliminating trays throughout the New Brunswick campus, Rutgers will save significantly on water usage and food waste, as well as electricity, detergents, and such. Food waste will decline because students will no longer be able to pile their trays with multiple plates and cups. These reductions in food and water will not only help the environment but also save money for the university and students: a decrease in food waste will likely result in a decrease of ordered food and help control rising meal costs for students. Additionally, the removal of trays from dishwashers creates more space and allows more dishes to be washed using the same amount of water. By this simple action, multiple factors of energy use and consumption can be addressed in a significant way for a lasting effect.

  • Click here to read the entire proposal
 
Eighth Annual Energy Symposium - May 7, 2013

 The annual energy symposia by the Rutgers Energy Institute provide faculty, students, staff, government officials, and community members with the opportunity to learn about the new methods, processes, and initiatives being developed by energy thinkers at Rutgers, in New Jersey, and across the country. The symposium will also include awards to the winners of this year's student Energy Innovation contest, sponsored by the Rutgers Energy Institute, to develop the best plans to reduce student energy consumption and promote eco-friendly practices throughout the Rutgers, New Brunswick Campus.

  • Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
  • Time: 8:45 am (registration and refreshments) - 2:00 pm
  • Location: Fiber Optics Auditorium , Busch Campus, Rutgers University

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SPEAKERS:

  • Steven Chu (former Secretary U.S. Department of Energy)
  • Al Darzins (Research & Development Director, Gas Technology Institute)
  • Steve Corneli (Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Policy and Strategy, NRG Energy, Inc.)
  • Thomas Dietz (Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy, Assistant Vice President for Environmental Research, Michigan State University)
  • Cynthia Warner (Chairman and CEO, Sapphire Energy Inc.)

   



Special note on parking: Visitors may park in Lots 51, 59, 60a, 60b, 67, and 68 without permits and does not include free metered parking. Faculty, Staff, and Students must park only in lots they are authorized to park in. 

If you have additional questions, please contact Beatrice Birrer: E-Mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 848-932-3436
Read more...
 
Rutgers Solar-to-Vehicle (S2V) Project

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Rutgers Solar-to-Vehicle (S2V) Project, sponsored by the Rutgers Energy Institute and the EcoComplex officially  started on December 4, 2012.  The S2V Project is headed by REI member Prof. Dunbar Birnie (Department of Materials Science and Engineering), aimed at testing electric-vehicle day-time work-place charging in conjunction with solar canopy parking structures.

Visit the website to check on latest S2V project progress

 

 

  • Comments can be posted in blog mode at: Solar2Vehicle.blogspot.com.
  • Specific questions or inquiries can be sent to Prof. Birnie: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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 "Part of our emphasis is on quantifying the fraction of typical work-a-day commuter driving that can be powered on electricity that is sourced from solar generation. This has economic and green-house-gas impacts as well as providing information relevant to the design of future electric and hybrid vehicles, their battery units, and the furtherance of infrastructure to support plug-in vehicles...We hope that this information about charging availability, electric usage models, green energy, and vehicle characteristics will be useful. " said Prof. Birnie. 

  Read more

 
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