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The University of Delaware’s John Byrne (right) with Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute.

Green growth cooperation

Photo courtesy of GGGI

UD and Global Green Growth Institute establish research partnership

The University of Delaware and the Global Green Growth Institute have announced a research partnership to support a global transition toward a green economy.

The overall idea is to foster sustainable economic growth and development in ways that fuel the economy at regional, national and global levels while ensuring the Earth’s natural assets remain available to future generations.

The cooperative agreement was signed by John Byrne, director of UD’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), and Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul, Korea.

According to Saleem Ali, UD Blue and Gold Professor of Energy and the Environment, the partnership’s main focus is to build global momentum for green growth research in energy. It grew out of collaborations between the two institutions on the MacArthur Foundation’s $100 million challenge grant competition, which focused on developing a microgrid network in Nigeria.

“The work builds on UD’s demonstrated research expertise in energy and environmental policy through CEEP and the University of Delaware Energy Institute’s Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI),” Ali said.

UD has been a leader in energy research and environmental policy for decades. In 2008, the University of Delaware Energy Institute (UDEI) opened to address the need of integration and collaboration of efforts in energy research, development and policy, and in 2009 the University established CCEI, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) "Frontier Research Center.”

The Center for Energy and Environmental Policy was established at UD in 1980 and has built a strong collaborative network on energy research across many of the countries that are a priority for GGGI’s activities.

Today, energy is a major theme at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus, which is home to the first research organization worldwide to commercialize vehicle-to-grid technology. Bloom Energy, a renewable energy technology firm that manufactures "energy servers" utilizing solid oxide fuel cells, also has a facility located at STAR.

The partnership will foster collaborative research and proposal development, and joint academic and training programs, in the following thematic areas:

• Micro-grid development;

• Off-grid solar systems; and

• Biogas.

Initial research efforts will focus on investments in micro-grid development in GGGI partner countries and through community-driven targets for energy delivery.

Microgrids are local energy grids that can operate both independently and within the framework of a traditional grid system. This control capability is an advantage the enables microgrids to operate locally as needed, which can help improve reliability and resiliency of the grid during storms, power outages or other grid disturbances.

Future research areas will target off-grid solar systems and biogas, said Ali.

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal targets for 2030 set forth by the United Nations will require partnerships between universities and international organizations on technical and policy issues,” said Ali.

This October, UD and GGGI will host a joint forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for energy sector agencies, experts, practitioners and businesses to collectively identify challenges and barriers to access and to consider advanced off-grid renewable energy delivery solutions in Africa through microgrids and other innovative mechanisms.

About Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is an intergovernmental organization championing green growth and climate resilience. Headquartered in Seoul and with teams embedded in 26 partner country government offices around the world, the institute is dedicated to supporting governments transition toward a model of economic growth.

Although economic growth is recognized as the main engine for poverty reduction and human development, current models of growth often lead to unsustainable environmental costs, resource depletion and increased social inequality.

The promise of green growth is a simultaneous advancement of economic growth, environmental sustainability, poverty reduction and social inclusion. While substantial progress has been made in establishing a global framework for tackling the challenges of climate change and global poverty, significant challenges must still be overcome for the world to deliver on the ambitions of building a resilient future.

About the University of Delaware Energy Institute (UDEI)

The University of Delaware Energy Institute (UDEI), under the direction of Dion Vlachos, is a university-wide entity which provides a forum for fostering collaboration to help address the nation’s energy needs and to marshal and expand the UD’s science, engineering, business and public policy expertise in new and emerging energy technologies to address the spectrum of challenges posed by our future energy needs.

UDEI has more than 250 affiliated researchers working on energy and environmental policy, photovoltaics, catalysts for fuel production, fuel cell science and technology, lightweight composites for fuel-efficient vehicles, airplanes and housing, energy efficiency and conservation, wind power and energy storage.

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