From Denmark to California on Renewable Energy

 

Students from Danish and Californian universities have been keeping themselves busy over the summer. They all just spent three weeks in California attending lectures, visiting companies, working on renewable energy projects and discussing future solutions for the road towards clean energy. I went with them for the opening ‘the Road to 100% Clean Energy Workshop’ and on a few of the visits and tried to figure out what they got out of the summer program and what they might take back home with them.

This year’s Denmark-California Summer Workshop, the fourth of its kind,  brought together students from 5 different universities (the Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University, and University of California in Santa Cruz, Merced, and Davis) and countries such as India, Malaysia, the US, and Denmark. They all came from different backgrounds and with different ideas for how to tackle the challenges of renewable energy systems. The final presentations held at UC Davis reflected this diversity as one group discussed how to build a decentralized residential energy system in a village in rural Tanzania; another how to sustainably preserve the Wharf in Santa Cruz; and the last one focusing on the construction of a new campus building at UC Davis.

Despite this diversity, most of the students came from a technical background. And though all of the final projects – and most of the presentations throughout the program – was about sustainability, the key point was about economic sustainability. There seem to be no doubt that renewable energy is the future, but if you can’t come up with a business model that makes renewable energy economically attractive, there’s no point.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the three final projects presented some very interesting solutions. But for next year’s DK-CA Summer Workshop in Denmark, it might be interesting to include students from across the pond, in business, natural sciences, and so on.

The workshop has been no walkover and the three weeks have been more than packed events. The students had barely time to work on their projects, let alone enjoy the beautiful surroundings of especially UC Santa Cruz. Instead they went through a tightly packed schedule of lectures, presentations and group work at UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis, as well as a long list of company visits including Tesla MotorsMakani Power, Rio Vista Wind Farm, SolyndraNASA Ames, and many more – all of which obviously impressed and inspired both students, professors, and a certain Innovation Center Denmark intern.

The Denmark-California Summer Workshop has been about getting a little taste of everything that has to do with renewable energy. Students and professors discussed theoretical and practical solutions to international and local scale, and got to meet some of the leading renewable energy players firsthand.

Next year, the summer school will be in Denmark. We will make sure to give you updates on the progress and registration when we get a little closer.

/Magnus

Apply Now: Summer School on Renewable Energy in California

Summer is approaching and so is our annual summer school on renewable energy. Right now, we are looking for the next batch of energy-conscious students to spend 3 weeks in California this August.


Danish-Californian collaboration
The Denmark-California Summer Program on Renewable Energy is a unique educational initiative developed by leading universities in Denmark and California. Students and researchers from the UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, UC Merced, Technical University of Denmark and Aalborg University will meet in California for a 3-week renewable energy summer school program. Participants learn about the economics, politics, science and technology behind RE implementation from leading experts, while exploring communities and relevant energy sites where similar technology is in place or currently being implemented.

A multi disciplinary approach
The program is intended for students of all disciplines, chosen on the basis of their academic qualifications, creativity and commitment to RE. Each year, selected students from engineering, business, environmental studies, political science, geography, economics and other fields are grouped together across disciplines and national ties to form project-based teams that throughout the program investigate the opportunities and challenges facing RE implementation

Join us this summer!
The Summer Program is 4-weeks long – including a first week of online course. The
 3-week program in California consists of classroom lectures, seminars and field trips to relevant energy sites and facilities all around Northern California. In addition to lectures and visits, participants will develop a problem-oriented research project, which represents a fundamental part of the overall learning experience. Upon conclusion of the program, a final written report and a presentation are completed by student teams, including analyses of the identified problem, possible solutions and suggested recommendations.

Read more about the summer school and apply here. The application deadline is May 16th, 2011.

For further information please contact Lars Beer Nielsen, Research and Development Attaché at Innovation Center Denmark.

Danmark knudepunkt for ny algeforskning og -udvikling

80 forskere fra blandt andet UC Santa Cruz og NASA (GREEN), eksperter og ingeniører fra 16 forskellige lande inklusive Kina, Indien, USA, New Zealand, Island og en del af vores nordeuropæiske naboer  har sat sig sammen for at undersøge, hvordan man kan producere fremtidens biobrændstof i offshoreanlæg med mikroalger. De mødtes til Wind – Sea – Algae:  International Workshop on Offshore Algae for Biofuels and Beyond på Lolland 20.-22. april 2009.

 Offshore Algae Production

Forskerne har 3 mål: De skal udstikke rammerne for et anlæg, der høster og udvinder energi af havalger og i denne proces:

1) bruge overflødige næringsstoffer i havet, 

2) benytte CO2 neutral vindenergi til at drive anlægget og

3) erstatte afbrændingen af fossile brændstoffer med  nyt algebaseret biobrændsel.

 

Endelig er det afgørende at få sandsynliggjort, at de oliepro­ducerende alger kan produceres så effektivt, at prisen på det algebaserede biobrændsel er konkurrence­dygtig med prisen på fossile brændstoffer som fx benzin og olie.

 

Hvorfor Lolland?

Lolland har verdens første og største installation af offshore vindmøller og har samtidig beskyttede farvande ved sine kyster. Her er altså ideelle forhold både for så vidt angår infrastruktur og tilgængelig vedvarende energi. Workshoppen arrangeres for Lolland Kommune af Baltic Sea Solutions, Bass og med Videnskabsministeriet/Innovation Center Denmark, Sillicon Valley som en af flere medsponsorer.

 

Live fra Lolland

Anders Riel Muller fra Bass, der deltog på selve workshoppen, skriver følgende om den:

 

”På workshoppen var der bred anerkendelse af Danmarks indsats inden for vedvarende energi. Der var samtidig enighed om, at alger skal udgøre en vigtig del af den globale biomasseproduktion, hvis vi ønsker at erstatte de fossile brændstoffer med vedvarende energikilder. Alle var også enige om, at alger kan bidrage til at reducere udledningen af næringsstoffer samt levere produkter til fødevareindustrien og landbruget. Det er derfor nødvendigt, at der afsættes de nødvendige forsknings- og udviklingsmuligheder til at udvikle systemer og behandling af alger, der gør det muligt at dyrke disse på en skala, hvor de kan gøre en forskel. For at dette kan lade sig gøre, er der udover ren forskning brug for, at der etableres testområder for algedyrkning, og det er her Lolland kommer ind i billedet. Lolland Kommune har indvilget i at stille testområder til rådighed, således at forskningen for muligheden for at udføre praktiske forsøg.

 

Danmark knudepunkt for ny algeforskning og -udvikling

På workshoppen blev det konkluderet, at der skal etableres et internationalt konsortium som inden COP 15 skal identificere forskningsprioriteter, internationale samarbejder samt demonstrationsprojekter. Det er hensigten, at vi i Danmark bliver et knudepunkt for denne forskning, samt at Lolland bliver internationalt testområde for nye koncepter inden for algedyrkning og videre forarbejdning. En arbejdsgruppe bliver nu etableret for at finde midler til at igangsætte dette projekt.”

NASA goes green – Nyt state-of-the-art forskningspark i Silicon Valley

ForskerparkFredag den 13. marts var den officielle indvigelse af en kommende forskningspark med tilhørende forskningssamarbejde mellem – indtil videre – Nasa Ames, University of California, Santa Cruz, og Foothill-De Anza Community College. Som en del af initiativet lægges vægt på internationale samarbejder, herunder med danskere.

 

Nasa Ames lægger jord til den nye forskerpark i hjertet af Silicon Valley. Parken, som placeres på et areal på hele 75 hektar jord, bygges og drives af Nasa Ames, UC Santa Cruz, og Foothill-De Anza Community College i fællesskab. Forskerparken bliver bl.a. naboer til Google, der også netop er flyttet ind hos Nasa.

 

Målet med forskerparken er at skabe et unikt uddannelses- og forskningsmiljø med vedvarende energi som omdrejningspunkt – både uddannelses- , forsknings- og forretningsmæssigt. Forskerparken får således også plads til grønne startups og etablerede virksomheder. Virksomhederne skal være med til at sikre, at den særlige Silicon Valley entreprenørånd dominerer – uanset om der er tale om uddannelses- eller forskningsaktiviteter. Continue reading “NASA goes green – Nyt state-of-the-art forskningspark i Silicon Valley”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...