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UNLEnergyCenter

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Education

Published on January 23, 2008

Author: Dionigi

Source: authorstream.com

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Nebraska’s Renewable Energy Future:  Nebraska’s Renewable Energy Future Kenneth G. Cassman, Director Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research kcassman1@unl.edu The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research :  The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research Collaboration between the University of Nebraska & the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD--a publicly owned utility) Established by an initial grant of $5 million over five years from the NPPD, plus additional funding and support from UNL Approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Trustees on April 28, 2006 Mission Energy research and educational programs that produce new technologies, processes, and systems to significantly enhance energy supply and conservation, economic opportunities, and environmental quality in Nebraska and worldwide NCESR Grant Program :  NCESR Grant Program Seed funding of $800,000/yr to establish an innovative portfolio of projects that address research AND education opportunities The goal is to achieve a project portfolio with an effective balance between basic and applied science, short-term impact and longer-term enhancement of research and education capacity in energy-related fields Focus on areas in which NE has a comparative advantage (natural resource endowments, infrastructure, existing critical mass of expertise) Types of Research Projects Eligible for Funding:  Types of Research Projects Eligible for Funding Mature research projects with the potential to develop new technologies and processes within a reasonably short time frame “Seed” projects in promising new research areas Research projects that build effective collaborations, capabilities, and infrastructure to support future innovation Educational projects that meet emerging needs for human resources in energy-related industries Projects that leverage Center funding to attract additional funding from federal agencies, foundations, and the private sector NCESR Priority Research Areas:  NCESR Priority Research Areas Improving economic and environmental sustainability of biofuel and bio-based product systems Improving productivity of biofuel feedstock production: closing the gap between yield potential and current average farm yields while increasing water and nitrogen use efficiencies Alternative energy sources (promising biomass and energy crops, energy generation from waste, microbial systems, chemical/biochemical improvement of biofuels, etc) Improving efficiency of commercial electricity generating plants and distribution systems Advanced technologies for energy efficiency and conservation Carbon and nitrogen sequestration Wind and solar energy generation systems Improved fuel cells and hydrogen-based technologies Highly efficient batteries and energy storage systems Energy self-sufficiency of small rural communities 2006 NCESR Grant Cycle:  2006 NCESR Grant Cycle Call for proposals sent out July 17 Letters of intent due August 4 56 proposal intentions submitted representing engineering, architecture, agronomy, animal science, basic biology and biochemistry, economics Final proposals due Sept 8 External review panel Final selection by External Advisory Committee in mid-October Selection criteria:  Selection criteria Proposals evaluated on the potential for: Developing new technologies, processes, system improvements that contribute to renewable energy supply, energy efficiency improvements, and/or energy conservation Elevating the quality and visibility of energy-related research at UNL Enhancing research capacity to increase competitiveness for additional grant funding Establishing effective collaboration with the private sector, other universities and research organizations, and/or public sector agencies Contributing to economic development and income generation in Nebraska NE Comparative Advantages for Commercializing Energy Science:  NE Comparative Advantages for Commercializing Energy Science Grain production and by-product utilization for biofuel systems Wind energy Solar Energy Geothermal energy Public Power Utilities Centrally located on national transportation grid Slide10:  USA Wind Energy Potential (NE potential #6 in USA) Annual Wind Power Resource % Land Area with Wind Class 3+ Source: NREL Slide11:  Geothermal Resources Source: http://www.heatflow.und.edu/, W. Gosnold, International Heat Flow Commission Slide12:  US Solar Energy Potential Source: NREL Nebraska’s comparative advantages for investment in the biofuel energy industry:  Nebraska’s comparative advantages for investment in the biofuel energy industry Consistent supply of grain and biomass feedstocks at reasonable prices (irrigated agriculture) Large cattle feeding industry to utilize by-products (e.g. distillers grain), which allows high energy efficiency and profitability of biorefinery systems Transportation infrastructure with access to West and East Coast and Gulf markets Low cost power supply (gas, electricity) These advantages will likely push NE to become the #1 grain-ethanol producer in the USA (NE currently rank third behind IL & IA) Slide14:  NE is Second in Irrigated USA Cropland Area CORN SOYBEAN Slide16:  Rapid expansion of the NE grain-ethanol industry, April to August 2006. Annual NE Ethanol Production Capacity and Corn Use (6-2006):  Annual NE Ethanol Production Capacity and Corn Use (6-2006) Challenges to the long-term viability of the biofuel industry:  Challenges to the long-term viability of the biofuel industry Ensuring adequate grain feedstock supply High grain prices will reduce profits from BOTH ethanol and livestock production Water limitations on irrigated agriculture (regulations and chronic drought) Environmental concerns associated with corn production, ethanol conversion, and by-product use Obtaining higher-value products in the feedstock-ethanol-DDG conversion stream Most efficient use of byproducts in livestock rations Effective government policies and incentives Educational programs and training for professionals and employees in the biofuel industry USA grain-ethanol production in 2012: How much maize is needed?:  USA grain-ethanol production in 2012: How much maize is needed? 2005 Energy Security Act mandates production of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012 Requires 2.75 billion bushels of corn (22% of total USA corn supply, assuming a 5% increase in corn area and average grain yield of 160 bu/ac) High profitability of corn-ethanol production and current rate of expansion indicate a large overshoot of this target 7.5 billion gallong target will be reached by 2009; more than 10 billion gallons by 2012 Will require 3.6 billion bushels of corn, or 29% of USA corn supply, (12% of global corn production) Slide21:  Nebraska contest-winning and average farm yield trends The exploitable yield gap is closing. Hence, the rate of yield gain must accelerate to meet increased global corn demand for food, feed, & fuel Challenges to the long-term viability of the biofuel industry:  Challenges to the long-term viability of the biofuel industry Ensuring adequate grain feedstock supply High grain prices will reduce profits from BOTH ethanol and livestock production Water limitations on irrigated agriculture (regulations and chronic drought) Environmental concerns associated with corn production, ethanol conversion, and by-product use Obtaining higher-value products in the feedstock-ethanol-DDG conversion stream Efficient use of byproducts in livestock rations/new uses Effective government policies and incentives Educational programs and training for professionals and employees in the biofuel industry Conclusions:  Conclusions Nebraska has a number of comparative advantages for investment in research and commercialization of renewable energy enterprises Critical need to focus resources on leveraging those comparative advantages The University of Nebraska must play a catalytic role in fostering innovation and education to support this industry The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research is ready to help

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