Sept. 23-25: UD Energy and Sustainability Conference planned


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12:58 p.m., April 23, 2010----A student-organized University of Delaware Energy and Sustainability Conference is being planned for the fall.

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The event, sponsored by the National Science Foundation Solar Hydrogen Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program at UD and the University of Delaware Energy Institute, will be held from Sept. 23-25 in the Multipurpose Rooms of the Trabant University Center.

The keynote speakers scheduled are Amanda Little, the author of Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells; Tom Gage, CEO of AC Propulsion, an electric vehicle design company; Toby Hemenway, renowned permaculturalist and author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture; and Daniel Lerch, director of the Post Carbon Institute and author of Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty.

The conference will exhibit UD's commitment to achieving a more sustainable energy future and highlights cutting edge energy research being undertaken by the research centers that are part of UDEI.

In addition to an energy showcase, many non-energy focused sustainability issues will be addressed.

All of the presenters at the conference will be invited speakers, consisting mostly of UD faculty, with faculty from other universities and local and regional professionals participating, as well.

Energy research presentations will cover organic photovoltaics, next-generation solar cells, biomass energy, magnetic storage devices, hydrogen fuel cells, and more.

Sustainability presentation topics include eco-villages, green entrepreneurship, local foods, sustainable building and community design, permaculture and energy policy.

The last day of the conference is designed to address ways that the average citizen can achieve a more sustainable lifestyle and prepare to cope with a lower-carbon future. Many of the issues covered will be especially relevant to residents of Delaware.

The conference will also feature poster presentations given by graduate students, research centers, local sustainability programs, and companies. Poster sessions will take place throughout much of the conference and will give conference attendees opportunities to speak with professors, research students, and companies about various energy and sustainability issues.

Also, there will be an Oxford-style debate about the merits and demerits of carbon cap-and-trade policy. The debate “teams” will each be comprised of two experts from various disciplines. Audience members will indicate which side they are on before and after the debate to determine who presented the more convincing argument.

The conference will be free and open to the public.