Transforming Our Energy Economy: The Role of Renewable Energy

Dr. Dan E. Arvizu, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

April 1, 2009 - Dan Arvizu, director of the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), discusses the current state of renewable energy technology and implementation in the U.S., as well as potential advancements in the near future. He focuses on the need to increase energy efficiency and to expand the renewable energy marketplace in the United States. A recent increase in the laboratory's budget is promising, but they also need to increase the speed of technology uptake. Arvizu argues that local economics are encouraged by green techology. If the United States begins on the path to sustainable energy use, then these incremental changes will bring about a transition within the energy sector. The key challenges are implementing renewable energy at scale, displacing petroleum fuels, and reducing the energy demands of industry. He focuses on buildings as one of the biggest targets for emissions reduction because they are big emitters and there are low-cost options to reduce their carbon output. Wind and solar are also becoming more viable renewable energy sources, but Arzivu expresses a need to improve current technologies. NREL is positioned to address the large-scale deployment issues that also currently exist. The laboratory planning to implement different combinations of alternative technologies in each country where it works, based on their energy sector's adaptability to the various technologies.