by Angela Herring

Alter­na­tive energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels, are often touted as the solu­tion to the waning global supply of oil and mounting evi­dence of carbon-​​induced cli­mate change. But experts say that efforts to reduce our carbon foot­print and diminish our reliance on oil from other nations are futile without a clean, safe, and viable way to store the energy gen­er­ated with these alter­na­tives. Without storage options, all the clean energy goes to waste.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, a score of policy makers, researchers, and industry experts will come together at North­eastern to explore the chal­lenges of renew­able energy con­ver­sion and storage in the first Renew­able Energy Storage Sym­po­sium.

Hosted by Northeastern’s Center for Renew­able Energy Tech­nology, the event will give stu­dents and lay people the oppor­tu­nity to interact with those on the front­lines of the energy storage field.

“Our focus here will be on the next gen­er­a­tion of storage ideas with a spe­cial emphasis on mate­rials chal­lenges,” explained NUCRET director San­jeev Muk­erjee, a pro­fessor of chem­istry and chem­ical biology.

Meeting pre­sen­ters include Bill Tumas, director of the Center for Chem­ical and Mate­rials Sci­ence at the National Renew­able Energy Lab­o­ra­tory in Golden, Colo., and Anthony Bur­rell, a senior chemist at Argonne National Lab­o­ra­tory. Scholars from across the nation and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Sandia National Lab­o­ra­to­ries, a con­tractor for the U.S. Depart­ment of Energy’s National Nuclear Secu­rity Admin­is­tra­tion, will also share their expe­ri­ences and present their ideas for making new storage tech­nolo­gies com­mer­cially viable.

The event is co-​​sponsored by Northeastern’s Col­lege of Sci­ence and its Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Chem­ical Biology, as well as Sandia National Lab­o­ra­to­ries, and is being man­aged by the Knowl­edge Foun­da­tion, a Boston-​​based orga­ni­za­tion that is a leading source of infor­ma­tion for the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of advanced tech­nolo­gies. Reg­is­tra­tion is open to the public.

For more infor­ma­tion about the con­fer­ence, please click here.

Originally published in news@Northeastern on August 9, 2013