RASEI’s integrated energy campus serves as a hub for energy research, education, economic, and industrial development. The integrated energy campus combines the capabilities and missions of CU-Boulder and NREL, other federal research labs, energy industry leaders, and academic institutions regionally and globally. The integrated energy campus provides an engine for technological and economic growth for Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.
RASEI research confronts the grand scientific and institutional challenges in energy. Its interdisciplinary approach to research, education, policy, and industrial development across the range of its impact areas is geared toward the needs of numerous emerging industrial sectors.
The energy consumer and the energy industry are the ultimate end users of new energy technologies and systems. The RASEI environment of research, the integrated energy campus, and education provide an attractive foundation for industry interaction and partnerships. Integrating industrial support, guidance, and participation in the processes of research, education, policy discussions, and industrial development activities create a rich ecosystem for studying and confronting the scale and complexity of emerging energy systems.
The energy research and development marketplace is increasingly defined by larger and more focused efforts that bring together institutions, disciplines, and programs around targeted areas. In its role as integrator, RASEI assembles and packages the skills, capabilities, and programs represented in the partner institutions to create a set of impact areas with defined products that are important to evolving industries.
Advanced Biofuels through Synthetic Techologies
This impact area focuses on transportation fuels and other valuable chemicals derived from plant material. It also includes the challenging areas of scalability and sustainability of synthetic fuels and chemicals. Research areas include synthetic technologies, synthetic biology; proteins, pathways, organism; biomimetic catalyst; hybrid bio- / inorganic strategies. Application areas include advanced biofuels and sustainable chemicals.
High Penetration Wind Electricity
The wind impact area focuses on the full suite of issues associated with the production and utilization of electricity from wind. Research areas include turbine and wind farm technology, forecasting and atmospheric science, grid integration, and social acceptance.
The grid innovation impact area focuses on electricity generation, transmission, distribution, end-use, and storage. Research areas include storage technologies, automated control strategies, modeling, simulation and control of micro-grids of electric-vehicles, and integration of wind and solar into the transmission and distribution systems.
Nanoscience for Energy Capture and Conversion
The nanoscience impact area focuses on solving energy problems through scalable nanotechnology for energy capture, conversion, and storage. Research areas include collective phenomena for efficient energy capture and transport; energy transfer across interfaces in nanostructures; control of conversion between energy carriers; quantum control of energy in molecules; materials and nanostructures; and catalysis for fuels.
Strategic Industry Concepts
This impact area focuses on building a sustainable framework to facilitate a terawatt-scale deployment of the next generation of alternative energy solutions. Research areas include developing an integrated framework for large-scale renewable energy solutions, engaging industry, studying public policy initiatives, and developing an energy workforce of the future. Research approaches include integrative analysis, model full systems and value chains, and study central vs. distributed deployment strategies.
Sustainable Transportation and Sustainable Fossil Fuels
This impact area focuses on merging requisite science, technology, and systems to create a viable low-GHG solar hydrogen industry. Research areas include developing innovations in photochemical production of hydrogen, photochemical conversion of carbon dioxide, and solar thermal production of hydrogen.
Social, Institutional, and Behavioral Analysis
This impact area focuses on the human dimensions of energy efficiency and renewable energy to include everyday practices, technology choices, lifestyle decisions, social structures, and cultural forces. Research areas include scale of impact, diversity, structural determinants, policy, adoption of renewable sources of energy, and energy efficiency.