April 14, 2008

Benefits, challenges of wind energy take center stage at Research ShowCASE

wind turbines

The world is addicted to electrical power, and the demand is increasing. Annual global generation of electrical energy was 16,424 billion kilowatt-hours in 2004; it's predicted to increase to 30,364 billion kilowatt-hours by 2030.

The increase in oil prices, along with the desire to balance the need for increasing demands without ruining the environment is just one of the topics that will be discussed during the "Wind Energy: A Resource for the Future?" forum beginning at 12:30 p.m., April 17 at Case Western Reserve University's Sixth Annual Research ShowCASE.

It is obvious to researchers and the general public that problems will continue to arise in the United States and globally if energy demands go unmet. People depend on energy for everything from items that make life more pleasant for most—air conditioners, televisions and computers—to basic equipment that helps to make homes cleaner and healthier, such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners.

Harnessing the wind is one practical solution to this problem. Researchers suggest that there is great potential in generating electrical energy from the wind on offshore sites on the Atlantic coast and on the Great Lakes. Last December, the university's new Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation—housed at the Case School of Engineering—received a large boost when it was awarded a $3.6 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation. The goal of the institute is aimed at developing economically viable, reliable and sustainable energy resources for all. Although wind energy is plentiful, clean, efficient, sustainable and available, the question of how to develop its potential to meet society's future needs remains, and is another issue that could be addressed during the forum.

The discussion will be moderated by Iwan Alexander, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve and director of the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation. He will be joined by David H. Matthiesen, associate professor of materials science and engineering at Case; Louis L. McMahon, a partner in environmental law at Thompson Hine LLP; Richard T. Stuebi, BP Fellow for Energy and Environmental Advancement at The Cleveland Foundation; and Richard Zachariason, CEO of Juwi Wind US Corp.

Research ShowCASE opens April 16, and continues April 17 beginning at 8 a.m. with exhibits, displays and demonstrations, as well as forums throughout the day. More than 500 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, as well as faculty from Case Western Reserve University and its collaborating partners, will present their research through poster displays, interactive demonstrations and other media.

The campus community and general public are invited to attend the free exhibition. Register online, and read more for a complete list of Research ShowCASE forums and events.

For more information contact Kimyette Finley, 216.368.0521.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, April 14, 2008 10:00 AM | News Topics: Events, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives, Public Policy/Politics, Technology, features

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