During its first two years, CERI has built a portfolio of research, outreach, education, and workforce development activities in clean fossil and renewable energy. The Institute is now well positioned to advance Colorado’s leadership in all these areas. CERI will focus its future activities on responsibly developing Colorado’s fossil energy resources, accelerating development of renewable energy technology, and strengthening links between Front Range research universities and the State’s four-year and community colleges for energy workforce development, public outreach, and education. Below are key future opportunities for CERI and the State.
Golden Energy Computing Organization (GECO)
CERI will partner with NCAR, NREL, and CSM to build a 16 teraflop supercomputer at CSM, which will be one of the fastest computers on any U.S. university campus. This computer will be fully integrated with the petascale computer used for climate change simulations that NCAR is building in Cheyenne, Wyoming. These facilities will form the “Front Range Cyber Collaboratory” that will catapult the Colorado earth-energy research community into global leadership not only in climate research, but also in basic science needed to transform the engineering fundamentals of energy systems everywhere to meet the triple challenges of adequate supply, greater security, and climate change mitigation .
Through its laboratory collaborations and the GECO computing partnership, CERI will expand its photovoltaic research into advanced materials resulting in more efficient generation of solar energy.
Through participation in the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, CERI will play a growing role in basic and applied bio-energy research, including new photo-electrochemical and biological processes for hydrogen generation.
Electricity Transmission Research
CERI will expand its role in the evaluation of distributed generation, including simulations of the electric grid and integrating renewable energy storage technology with power supply systems.
Through partnerships with federal research institutions and state universities, CERI works to transfer promising solar, fuel cell, wind, biomass, and other renewable energy technologies to Colorado businesses.
Carbon Separation and Sequestration Technology
CERI will take a leading role in developing carbon separation and sequestration technology for clean coal gasification plants and for the cost-effective use of the separated CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.
Fossil Energy Research
About 6% of Colorado’s economic output derives from the fossil energy industry. Economic output from this sector could grow with technological progress in the production of ‘tight’ gas reservoirs, the underground conversion of oil shale to liquid petroleum (in situ conversion), and the development of coal gasification plants with carbon capture, hydrogen production, and associated generation of liquid fuels. CERI and its partners have the scientific know-how to help industry and State agencies transform Colorado’s extractive energy industries into some of the world’s cleanest production operations.
State-wide Energy Audit
CERI will regularly track changes in the State’s energy-related economic output—renewable as well as fossil. Also, CERI will establish and maintain an accurate database on the state’s energy generation, transmission, and documentation of improved energy efficiency over time.