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Energy Future

Securing a clean, sustainable and vibrant energy future requires a multifaceted approach. Researchers at the University of Michigan are improving the technologies to deploy clean energy sources—wind, solar, hydrogen, and bioenergy—and are confronting the societal challenges and opportunities that will accompany the shift away from carbon-intensive sources. The U-M Battery Lab is finding new ways to maximize storage of renewable sources, and the Urban Energy Justice Lab emphasizes how future energy development can ensure fair and equitable access to energy.

News and Impact

Larissa Larsen
Portico Fall 2021: Larissa Larsen on a new energy landscape
solar panels
New guide helps Michigan communities plan for solar energy
People standing in front of a solar array
Ford, SEAS students get up close and personal with renewable energy
University of Michigan researchers, including Tim Fairley-Wax, a research lab specialist associate, are working on a new biodigester that converts organic solid waste from trash and wastewater into renewable methane. The digester mirrors the ability of a cow’s stomach to efficiently break down substances. Photo: Robert Coelius/Michigan Engineering
Energy from waste: $6.8 million for cow-inspired biodigesters
an autoworker finishing the detail of a car
100% renewable diesel cars can reduce carbon emissions while waiting for electric vehicles
Andrew Gayle, a graduate student research assistant, and Alexander Hill, a graduate student instructor, monitor a new reactor designed to produce ammonia for fertilizer without relying on fossil fuels. Image credit: Robert Coelius, Michigan Engineering
$2M to replace fossil fuels with solar power in fertilizer production
Xinjing Huang, a doctoral student in Forrest’s lab, holds a 20% transparency, 30-year solar cell module that she built. The longevity of the design is a major step toward practical windows that provide solar power. Image credit: Robert Coelius, Michigan Engineering
Solar cells with 30-year lifetimes for power-generating windows
Shobita Parthasarathy
Equity considerations must be an integral part of energy research and development, Parthasarathy tells Congressional committee
fleet of vans
Electric delivery vehicles: When, where, how they’re charged has big impact on greenhouse gas emissions
Daniel Raimi
Raimi maps U.S. energy economy in new report
Tony Reames
SEAS professor Tony Reames tapped by DOE to lead energy justice policy
an illustration of people holding up solar panels
U-M Energy Equity Project to develop first standardized tool for driving equity in clean energy industry
diagram demonstrating the different analysis areas of the president's commission on carbon neutrality
U-M carbon neutrality commission submits final recommendations
Greg Less holding a battery made at U-M. Photo: Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering
U-M Battery Lab to join Michigan Materials Research Institute
solar panels on an arid terrain
U-M Carbon Neutrality Acceleration Program awards $1.75M in grants to seven research projects
The project, “Mapping and Bridging Barriers in Knowledge Flows of How Solar Photovoltaics Affect Rural Community Economies,” will test various information dissemination strategies and study the impact of utility-scale solar on the economies of rural areas.
Mills and Craig selected for Department of Energy grant to study utility-scale solar
The commission is inviting U-M students, staff, faculty and community members to review proposed recommendations and submit feedback and ideas by Jan. 22, 2021, via an online public comment portal.
Carbon neutrality commission releases draft recommendations
The electron microscope image shows the air (darkest gray) sandwiched between the gold backing at the bottom and the semiconductor at the top, supported on gold beams. Image credit: Dejiu Fan, Optoelectronic Components and Materials Group, University of Michigan
Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat
U-M’s new solar car, “Electrum”. Image credit: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering
U-M Solar Car Team doubles down on a proven design
Urban Energy Justice Lab founder Dr. Tony Reames
Energy access is not created equal. This Ann Arbor organization is trying to change that
The Battery Fabrication and Characterization User Facility, or Battery Lab, is a space developed by U-M in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ford Motor Company.
The U-M Battery Lab: Where invention and manufacturing meet