Renewable energy technologies examined at MechSE Distinguished Seminar
Costs for renewable energy technologies have declined rapidly in the past decade and their use for residential, commercial, and utility scale electricity has grown exponentially as they become cost competitive. Simultaneously, industrial and manufacturing processes have been increasingly seeking ways to reduce emissions and operational costs in highly competitive sectors. With these combined drivers of lower cost and reduced environmental impact, renewable energy may become a viable energy provider for industrial processes such as oil and gas, mining, chemical refining, food production, and manufacturing. Renewable energy technologies may also partner with other reduced emission energy sources, such as small modular nuclear reactors and carbon capture and utilization, to create cleaner and circular industrial systems for reduced resource use. The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), which is a partnership of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and five universities and others, has been studying to potential for application of clean energy technologies to the heterogenous energy demands in industry. Dr. Jill Engel-Cox will present an overview of NREL and JISEA, the status and potential future of renewable energy technologies, and collaborations with the oil and gas industry and other industrial sectors to improve their environmental performance and reduce operational costs.
Dr. Engel-Cox is Director of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Over her 25-year career, Dr. Engel-Cox has been an engineer, researcher, program manager, and strategic planner for a diverse suite of renewable energy, clean technology, and environmental programs in the United States, Asia, and Middle East. Her first job was climbing smokestacks in Los Angeles, followed by leading industrial pollution prevention programs for small and medium sized businesses and R&D laboratories in the United States and internationally. In the past decade, she has led international strategic planning and technology assessments for renewable energy and environmental sustainability research programs, working extensively in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. She also teaches industrial processes and environmental communications courses at Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals Program.