UT Austin Energy Bulletin
A Monthly Update from the Energy Institute of The University of Texas at Austin
|The UT Austin Energy Bulletin is a monthly update on energy-related research, recent and upcoming events, grants, awards and special announcements – a recap of all things energy at The University of Texas at Austin.
UT Austin among world leaders in CCS research, training
UT Austin’s Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering hosted an intensive summer program on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), part of a broader effort to promote greater understanding of new technologies aimed at preventing CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Next month, the university will play host to the 12th International Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies conference, the world’s foremost gathering of experts on CCS. Read more.
Mexico’s newly liberalized energy sector presents business opportunities and political risks
The recent overhaul of Mexico’s energy sector presents unparalleled opportunities for international energy companies. Jorge Piñon, executive director of UT Austin’s Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, weighs in on how Texas’ business interests – as well as political posturing by state leaders – could affect the emerging market south of the border. Read more in the Houston Chronicle and Exploration.com.
Engineering program receives DOE grant for nuclear energy research
UT Austin’s Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program has been awarded nearly $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study new technologies that show promise for making nuclear energy more competitive with cheap natural gas and non-dispatchable renewable sources. Mechanical Engineering Professor Erich Schneider will lead the project (PDF), ‘Nuclear technology R&D strategies in an era of energy price uncertainty.’ For more, read the DOE announcement.
On average, fracking uses similar amounts of water as conventional oil drilling, new study shows
A new study from UT Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology shows that producing oil through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses similar amounts of water as that used to produce oil through conventional means. Senior research scientist Bridget Scanlon led the study, which compared water use in hydraulic fracturing operations in the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations with previous estimates of water use in conventional operations throughout the country. For more, read a summary or the study, as published in Environmental Science and Technology Journal.
Energy Institute deputy director and EDF vice president weigh in on proposed EPA power plant rule to reduce CO2
Energy Institute Deputy Director Dr. Michael Webber was prominently quoted in several news outlets on new a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule requiring Texas and other states to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Energy Institute advisory board member Jim Marston, vice president / U.S. climate and energy for Environmental Defense Fund, also weighed in with an op-ed in Forbes. For more, read Dr. Webber’s comments in PolitiFact, the Austin American-Statesman and KUT/StateImpact Texas.
Studying solar in Texas: big energy savings opportunities on small campuses
Andy Ferris, a second-year MBA student in the McCombs School of Business, recently conducted an analysis of a recommended solar installation for Huston Tillotson University. Ferris’ work, the focus of his fellowship with the Environmental Defense Fund, showed the solar installation on the 23-acre, tax-exempt campus would increase the school’s portion of energy from renewable sources to 14 percent, a level high enough to place them first in the country among private Historically Black Colleges or Universities. For more read Ferris’ blog.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“… the economic and business interest from international oil companies” is present in Mexico’s market.
Economist Jorge Piñon, executive director of UT Austin’s Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, on recent changes to Mexico’s energy sector that foster foreign investment.
2014 International Greenhouse Gas Technologies Conference October 5 – 9, 2014
UT Austin will host the 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT-12) October 5-9 2014 at the Austin Convention Center. The GHGT series has developed into the leading international conference on greenhouse gas technologies addressing climate change mitigation options. Cities in Europe, Asia, and North America host the conference, which attracts more than 1,500 attendees. Leaders from the scientific, industrial and policy communities exchange new knowledge, information and ideas on reducing greenhouse gases. Read more.
Defense Energy Summit & Innovation Showcase
Experts from industry, academia, NGOs and government will gather in Austin in November for three days of discussion on how to accelerate clean energy and infrastructure solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense. Read more.