RASEI (pronounced RAY-see) is a joint institute between the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) addressing important, complex problems in energy that require a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional approach.

Its mission is to expedite solutions that transform energy by advancing renewable energy science, engineering, and analysis through research, education, and industry partnerships.

RASEI benefits from the strengths of its partner institutions. CU-Boulder is a premier institution for research and education, and its broad spectrum of capabilities and disciplines contributed to its placement of eight in research citation output among U.S. institutions of higher learning (Science, Nov. 2010). NREL is the only national laboratory solely dedicated to advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies from concept to commercial application.

RASEI's Four Goals

Create Integrated Energy Campus: Create a world-leading campus for energy research and education that benefits from the concentration of academic institutions, federal research laboratories, and businesses and combines the capabilities and missions of CU-Boulder and NREL, with other federal research labs, industry leaders, and academic institutions regionally and globally. 

Perform Innovative Research: Develop a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to meet the scientific and institutional energy challenges of the 21st century. RASEI's interdisciplinary approach to research, education, policy, and industrial development across the range of impact areas is geared toward the needs of numerous emerging industrial sectors.

Educate Energy Leaders and Workforce: Provide programs, lectures, and opportunities that prepare students to become the energy leaders of the future.

Develop Industry Partnerships: Engage industry partners in comprehensive programs involving energy research, education, policy, and technology development. 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 to overcome the complexity of the energy challenge. 

Understanding the Scale and Complexity of the Energy Challenge

We face an unprecedented global energy challenge. Demand for energy is projected to double within the next few decades and continue to grow through the end of the century. To meet this ever-growing demand, energy industries of the 21st century need an entirely new infrastructure that produces more energy at a lower cost, uses energy far more efficiently, improves the security of supply by relying more on domestic and stable sources, and produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

The scale and complexity of the energy challenge and the intense competition in the energy marketplace necessitate a comprehensive approach for developing new energy industries. A measured investment from the public and private sectors and new models for public-private partnerships are required.

Understanding the dynamics of this new marketplace and the factors governing a sustainable energy system are crucial for emerging energy industries to succeed. These systems must meet multiple requirements such as scaling to a terawatt, using readily available resources for manufacturing, and having a sustainable lifecycle.