Rice University today announced the Energy and Environment Initiative (E2I), a sweeping plan to support interdisciplinary research that will draw experts from every corner of the university to work with Houston's energy industry to overcome barriers to the sustainable development and use of current and alternative forms of energy.
"One of the most critical global issues of our time is the challenge of meeting the world population's escalating need for energy and simultaneously safeguarding the environment," said Rice President David Leebron. "Rice's location in Houston, the global energy capital, uniquely positions us to serve both our city and our world by offering rich insights and practical but innovative solutions to this daunting challenge. Not only will we explore issues related to the safe harvesting and use of traditional hydrocarbons, but also advance the next generation of energy sources, from biofuels to solar. These efforts will draw on our deep strengths and capabilities from across the university, including in basic science, engineering, nanotechnology, informatics, social sciences, humanities and public policy."
Rice Provost George McLendon said E2I is unique among university activities in this space because it recognizes that addressing challenges in energy requires more than just technological solutions. Building on a strong foundation, E2I researchers will study energy policy and markets, finance and management, as well as the cultural and societal values that underpin and sometimes undermine public discussion about energy and the environment. Rice's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is already an internationally recognized leader in energy economics and policy. Rice laboratories conduct about $40 million in energy-related research each year, and McLendon said Rice will invest about $1 million this fiscal year to start E2I seed-funding programs and establish an infrastructure to link existing activities across de
|Contact: David Ruth|