Overview of Major Energy Institute Research Initiatives
For more than a century, the State of Texas has enjoyed sustained economic growth based on its development and marketing of energy resources produced from fossil fuels. The advent of global warming, and the need to produce energy from environmentally benign sources, presents new challenges and constraints.
The Energy Institute’s mission is to address these pressing energy challenges through credible research and stellar instruction. Our goal, as expressed in our mantra – good policy based on good science – is to promote sustainable energy security and continued economic vitality for our State and our Nation.
At its inception, the Energy Institute identified six major research initiatives that would benefit from the vast expertise available on campus at the University of Texas at Austin. We have since added a seventh topic, and will pursue other opportunities in consultation with the members of the Institute’s Advisory Council, faculty and staff of the University, private energy industries, public utilities, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.
Cost-Effective Capture & Storage of CO2 through Energy Production from Saline Aquifers
Reducing the net cost of carbon capture and storage (CCS) from coal-fired power plants so that it is competitive in a market environment, without subsidies or a price on carbon.
Fuel from Sunlight
Pursuing direct conversion of solar energy into hydrogen without the use of plants or microbes, or artificial photosynthesis.
Hydraulic Fracturing of Shale Gas
Examining the environmental consequences and public policy issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing of shale for natural gas production.
Center for Environmental Protection at Hydrocarbon Energy Production Frontiers (REEF)
Exploring the technical, regulatory, legal and policy implications involved in the exploration of hydrocarbons in deep-water and other frontier environments.
Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle & Enhancing Nuclear Security
Reviving America’s program for recycling spent nuclear fuel to extract latent energy and reduce the volume and toxicity of remaining nuclear waste.