News and Announcements

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website provides resources to help inform communities about the final Clean Power Plan and the proposed Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or Before January 8, 2014; Model Trading Rules (this rulemaking will be henceforth referred to as the proposed federal plan). Additionally, this website provides resources that the EPA is making available to help communities engage with their states as they implement their plans and to assist communities in engaging with the EPA throughout the comment period for the proposed federal plan.

Trevor Houser (Rhodium Group), Solomon Hsiang (Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley), Robert Kopp (REI Associate Director) , and Kate Larsen's (Rhodium Group) propectus "Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus"Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus" is now available from Columbia University Press. This prospectus is based on a critically acclaimed independent assessment of the economic risks posed by climate change commissioned by the Risky Business Project.  This book is an essential tool for helping businesses and governments prepare for the future.

Professor Monica Mazuek, Associate Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering and REI member, was interviewed by WHYY in the following article the "New Climate Change Rules for Power Plants Come with Perks for Public Health"

The Clara Immerwahr Award is conferred annually to a young female scientist at an early stage of her career (postdoctoral fellow, junior researcher) for outstanding results in Catalysis Research.

REI Director, Paul G. Falkowski, participated as a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committee members on the recent report on "Climate Intervention:Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth (2015)".  Learn more about the findings...

Professor Monica Mazurek, REI member, School of Engineering, at Rutgers University and Michael Thwaite, President of Plug-in America and the NJ Electric Auto Association discuss how you can make a choice as to what sort of car you have and what level of impact you have on our environment.  Listen to the Show: The Green Hour

Our own Robert (Bob) Kopp, Associate Director of the REI,  has been awarded the Shackleton Medal recognizing his pioneering efforts in understanding the changing trajectory of Earth’s climate.

The Shackleton Medal is awarded by the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUAonce every four years to an outstanding young Quaternary scientist, chosen by his or her peers and evaluated by a blue-ribbon committee of distinguished scientists. The medal, INQUA's first, honours Sir Nicholas Shackleton, a giant in the field of Quaternary science, in recognition of his distinguished career in Quaternary geochronology and paleoclimatology, which spanned 40 years and was based on isotopic studies of deep-sea sediment. Read more...

Congratulations to REI Associate Director, Dr. Robert Kopp, of the Department of Earth & Planetary Science for his designation as a Chancellor's Scholars for Rutgers University - New Brunswick. The Chancellor's Scholar initiative was created through the New Brunswick Strategic Plan to recognize truly outstanding and highly promising faculty members at the associate professor level.   As a Chancellor's Scholars, Kopp will receive an addition towards his research account for innovative research initiatives and/or program development for up to five years. Congratulations to Bob on this honor!

Read NY Times article by ROBERT KOPP, JONATHAN BUZAN and MATTHEW HUBER

JUNE 6, 2015. Read more.

Robert Kopp, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and associate director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, a lead author of “Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus" (forthcoming this summer from Columbia University Press). This report provided the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business Project organized by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and philanthropist Tom Steyer.

We often think about climate change as an economic issue, and it is. But as the pope's encyclical highlights, climate change is also a profoundly ethical challenge. In part, it's a matter of equity. The benefits of fossil fuels have accrued primarily to the world's rich, while the risks have fallen disproportionately on the poor. Moreover, burning fossil fuels imposes an increasing "climate debt" on future generations, who have no direct voice today – an imposition that we shakily justify by assuming that our descendants will be better able to clean up our mess than we are able to avoid making it.

Many of the challenges of dealing with climate change arise from the "short-termism" that dominates our economic and political systems. By contrast, the 2,000-year-old Catholic Church has a longer term view. With its focus on both social justice and the long term, as well as a network of followers that spans all the countries of the world, the Church brings an important perspective to tackling climate change.

 

Read more.

Dr. Bill Nye accepted an honorary doctorate degree during Rutgers University 2015 Commencement at High Point Solutions Stadium on May 17, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  Dr. Nye gave this commencement speech, highlighting our role to create solutions and be the Next Great Generation.  Of critical importance is the role of energy.

"Right now, it’s still too easy for any of us to dump our carbon waste in the world’s atmosphere. We are going to need thoughtful, reasonable, fair, and tough regulations. We’re going to find a means to enable poor people to advance in their societies in countries around the world. Otherwise, the imbalance of wealth will lead to conflict and inefficiency in energy production, which will lead to more carbon pollution and a no-way-out overheated globe."

"When you all were born, the Earth’s atmosphere comprised about 0.035% carbon dioxide. That number is often reckoned as 350 parts per million. Well today, as you’re being graduated, the world has over 400 parts per million. By the end of the year, we may reach 40! It’s not just the number… the rate of increase of people and pollution that’s killing us."

"In general, all this means we need to provide two things: Electricity and clean water to everyone on Earth. Sooner or later, we are going to have to come up with some amazing new ideas to create or develop more resources to accommodate more people. I want you to solve our legal problems as well as our technical challenges and, dare I say it — Change the World."

Dr. Nye ended with "So Class of 2015, here’s wishing you the joy of discovery. Keep reaching. Keep seeking. Keep using your abilities to bring out the best in those around you, and let them bring out the best in you. Become the Next Great Generation! You can and you will — dare I say it, Change the World!"

The Administration released the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which examines how to modernize the Nation's energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility and take full advantage of American innovation and the new sources of domestic energy supply that are transforming the Nation's energy marketplace. This report focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure -- the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy system. (Posted April 21, 2015)

Learn More

Advancing Sustainable Energy Research for low-cost replacement for platinum leads to patent-pending technology

New research published by Rutgers University chemists has documented significant progress confronting one of the main challenges inhibiting widespread utilization of sustainable power: Creating a cost-effective process to store energy so it can be used later.

“We have developed a compound, Ni5P4 (nickel-5 phosphide-4), that has the potential to replace platinum in two types of electrochemical cells: electrolyzers that make hydrogen by splitting water through hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) powered by electrical energy, and fuel cells that make electricity from combining hydrogen and oxygen,” said Rutgers Chemistry Professor Charles Dismukes. “Platinum is the benchmark material for both devices as it has the best conversion efficiency. However, while platinum may be acceptable for making jewelry and low volume specialty applications, it is too expensive for large-scale applications such as energy storage and conversion. Our new HER catalyst, Ni5P4, has the strong potential to overcome this challenge.” Read More

Paul Falkowski, Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI), discusses climate intervention as a business opportunity in a collaboration with Rutgers Business School. Professor  Falkowski talks about two interventions as business opportunities for reducing the effects of carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere.

Bob Kopp, REI Associate Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, appeared on NJTV to discuss current research on sea level rise in New Jersey.

The Energy Department announced $2.5 million in available funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP), which aims to inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs. This funding opportunity will support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy.

The Cleantech UP will create a strong national infrastructure focused on collegiate high-tech entrepreneurship that accelerates the rate of clean energy innovation in the United States, establishing a national Cleantech UP Hub and supporting up to eight Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions. The Cleantech UP Hub will create a national prize, train student entrepreneurs, and serve as a coordinating body for energy entrepreneurship training, while the Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace. Together, the Cleantech UP Hub and Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will form a strategic network that increases student entrepreneurs' participation—both in quantity and quality—in clean energy, and addresses the existing gaps in early-stage commercialization training.

Cleantech UP will build on the success of its precursor, the Energy Department's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (NCEBPC), which leveraged growing interest in energy entrepreneurship to expand student engagement in clean energy technologies. Launched in 2011, the NCEBPC has attracted more than 750 teams, resulting in more than 70 ventures and generating $38 million in follow-on funding.

Organizations interested in supporting clean energy entrepreneurship should apply. Find more information about this funding opportunity, including application requirements, here .

This funding opportunity builds on the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's work to accelerate development and facilitate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

  • DE-FOA-0001271
  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 3/4/2015 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 4/16/2015 5:00 PM ET 

Sustainable Energy in America Factbook 2015 byBloomberg New Energy Finance: the Factbook has documented the revolution transforming how the US produces, delivers, and consumes energy.

Program solicitation for graduate students to conduct thesis research at 15 DOE National Laboratories.  Applications are now being accepted.

The James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship has been established to allow graduate students from Rutgers University interested in climate change preparedness measures to undertake projects to help advance the mission and objectives of the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance. James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship

  • Summer 2015 applications being accepted by February 16, 2015.
  • Application information here .

National Academy of Sciences Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.

February 10, 2015. 11:00 AM. Climate Intervention Reports Release. Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.  Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences;  Marica McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science and Chair of the reports authorizing committee; David Titley, Penn State University; Scott Doney, WHOI; Waleed Abdalati, CIRES-U of Colorado.  

These reports provide a scientific foundation to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions surrounding climate intervention (also known as geoengineering)—the purposeful intervention in the climate system to counter climate change. The reports assess the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: (1) carbon dioxide removal and (2) albedo modification (reflecting sunlight). The reports also discuss governance issues and the research needed to provide a credible scientific underpinning for future discussions.

  • more information here.

Anne Marie Carlton , assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, has been appointed to a newly established ad hoc National Research Council committee on the Future of Atmospheric Chemistry , whose goal is to identify priorities and strategic steps forward for atmospheric chemistry research for the next decade.  The Committee will study the need for supporting a comprehensive U.S. research program in atmospheric chemistry, including how research in this area contributes to advancing our understanding of climate change, air quality, the carbon and nitrogen cycles, the energy and water cycles, and the overall role of the atmosphere in Earth system science.

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