Energy and Environment at Carolina

provided the initial funding for the activities in Energy and the Environment at Carolina, and continues to provide core support. We are especially grateful to them for this founding gift.

Energy use presents a special set of challenges to our state, nation and world. While energy and materials lie at the heart of satisfying important human needs and driving economic development, their use also is the common cause of a wide range of environmental problems. Climate change, deforestation, eutrophication, acidification: all may be traced to the ways in which society obtains, uses and disposes of material and energy. It also is increasingly clear that our past reliance on cheap and plentiful fossil fuels is giving way to a future in which these traditional supplies are dwindling and becoming more expensive as international competition grows. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has stepped forward in creating and implementing an array of responses, united through what we call Energy and Environment and built around the Institute's Center for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economic Development (CSEEED).

Energy and Environment represents a campus-wide partnership between faculty, students and the offices of the campus infrastructure (Energy, Housing, Grounds, etc.). Working together, and with outside institutions and communities, we produce interdisciplinary research, education and outreach in all aspects of energy use, environmental quality and economic development, including:

  • Scientific advances in the physics, chemistry, biology and materials science underlying energy supplies such as fuel cells, biomass, tidal energy, hydrogen and photovoltaics;
  • Scientific and engineering advances in industrial processes that consume less energy and reduce waste;
  • Social advances in the creation of markets and entrepreneurial activities;
  • Scientific and engineering advances in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide;
  • Study of the relationship between population growth, development patterns, economic growth, energy use and environmental impacts;
  • Study of market, governmental, institutional and personal mechanisms by which energy, environmental and economic changes can be integrated, assessed and implemented;
  • Application of sustainable energy measures on our campus, using the campus as a test bed and demonstration site for advances in green technologies and practices.

We invite you to join with us in these exciting activities, working to meet the energy and environmental challenges that will define the 21st century.