Sunday, April 15, 2007

Transformational Science for Energy and the Environment

Last night I attended a talk by Ray Orbach, Undersecretary for Science, Department of Energy on "Transformational Science for Energy and the Environment." It was a nice overview of many of the DOE efforts to address global warming and our ever-increasing demand for MORE energy.

Orbach talked about five major areas (listed below) ripe for transformational advances that would have major impacts on the high environmental cost of energy production. The Department of Energy has active projects in all of these areas developed with the input of industry and academic experts around the world.

You can read more about their projects by viewing his entire presentation here or visiting the Office of Basic Energy Science website.

At the end of the talk Orbach answered lots of questions about possible energy sources and the direction of energy research. There were a lot of great questions - about geothermal energy, carbon sequestration, etc. - but the final question hit home with most of the attendees I think.
I summarize-

APS President Leo Kadanoff: Do we currently have the workforce needed to solve the energy problem?

Orbach: No.

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