Energy research makes BGSU center of excellence

BGSU has one of nine Ohio centers of excellence in advanced energy, as named Oct. 28 by Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut.

BGSU’s center on Sustainability and the Environment is among those singled out by the state for commitment to focusing academic and research activities on advanced energy development, in part to meet the requirements of Ohio Senate Bill 221. The 2008 law mandates that 25 percent of all electricity sold in the state come from advanced energy sources by 2025.

“Meeting our advanced energy standard depends on making sure we continue to develop new technologies,” Strickland said. “These centers of excellence will play a key role in meeting that goal, as well as strengthening Ohio’s position as a market leader in supplying the world’s advanced energy economies. That is important for a simple reason—when we grow these industries, we create jobs.”

Partners in the BGSU center come from across the University, from photochemical sciences and the Electric Vehicle Institute to physics and astronomy and the Department of the Environment and Sustainability. The partners have an established record in basic and applied research, engagement and education related to sustainability and the environment. Externally funded research programs in alternative energy, environmental monitoring and global change have achieved international reputations.

BGSU’s efforts in alternative energy focus on organic photovoltaics for solar conversion and internal lighting, wind energy production, and the environmental impact of wind energy and fuels from algae.

“Ohio’s universities are committed to driving economic growth in this state,” said Fingerhut. “The centers of excellence in advanced energy will create the technologies and innovations needed to make Ohio a global leader in an economy that requires a modern, cheap and clean energy infrastructure.”

The other eight centers are located at Case Western Reserve, Central State, Ohio State and Ohio universities, and the universities of Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo. The University of Dayton has two designated centers.

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(Posted October 28, 2009 )