Past Energy Days

The need for more energy—a 50% increase by 2040— is critical, and it must be clean, safe, affordable, and abundant.

Summary of Event

During May 2016, Penn State hosted a two-day Energy Days event designed to elicit input and engagement from a diverse range of stakeholders from the energy industry, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. In addition, Penn State students, faculty, administrators, and staff from a variety of colleges, departments, and institutes also attended. Expertise ranged from engineering and nuclear physics to policy and economics. In pursuing a goal of developing Penn State into the “Energy University,” the event promoted discussion of critical energy issues and helped identify what Penn State could do to help meet future needs.

Read the full report on Energy Days 2016.

 “The challenge of energy is great, and so is the opportunity.”

Overall Findings

Based on keynote talks, a panel discussion, and in-depth work sessions on a variety of topics, the event resulted in several key findings:

Finding #1

There is a critical need for public and stakeholder engagement, education, and outreach to increase the understanding of energy for all stakeholders.

Finding #2

Public policy and decision making are critically important to achieving energy goals while assessing and addressing society needs.

Finding #3

There are many challenges in the energy sphere, and therefore opportunities for research to accelerate the trajectory of fundamental discovery and applied innovation to transform the energy sector to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Finding #4

Incentive/funding mechanisms are necessary parts of the discussion.

Finding #5

Penn State is well positioned to be Energy University through its:

  • Research to generate the knowledge and technology to drive the next energy revolution
  • Education to train the workforce of tomorrow, ready and adaptable for global careers
  • Service in partnering with industry and government alike to address urgent, real-world needs for energy production and policy

In his remarks, President Eric Barron acknowledged there is no silver bullet for energy and that society needs a mix of energy sources. Understanding the energy sector, including critical policy decisions, and the connection between energy, food, and water is a complicated space that requires both depth, breadth, and interdisciplinary work. Discussions about how to implement the Energy University concept continue, with follow-up at the next Energy Days scheduled for May 22–23, 2017.