E-ffiliates is a membership-based program initiated by the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment to accelerate solutions to problems of sustainable energy and the environment by bridging industry and academia.
“There are inventive ways to deal with the challenges of global climate change,” said Stewart Prager, a professor of astrophysical sciences and director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. “But it’s vital to focus on the big picture and not just the short-term. When fusion enters, it’s going to be in the second half of the century when the crisis will become even more severe,” said Prager. “We cannot just wait for solutions to present themselves. We have to work on it now for it to become available.”
Fusion energy is the primary focus of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy lab that Princeton University administers. Fusion is different from conventional nuclear power because it involves fusing light atoms such as hydrogen, as opposed to splitting heavy atoms such as uranium. Noting that fusion is the same process that powers the sun, Prager said fusion energy is one of the largest science and engineering challenges of this era. But the benefits of essentially limitless, universally available, safe and clean power make it worth pursuing, he said.
The meeting included discussions on investment opportunities in the sustainable energy sector as well as discussions of the technological frontiers of grid-scale energy storage, sustainable building materials — projects that received competitive E-ffiliates seed funding in 2013-14.
Attendees at the meeting included representatives of the six current E-ffiliates member companies: Dupont, Lockheed Martin, PSEG, Southern Company, Archewild and Power Survey Company.
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