UH Energy Launches New White Paper Series

Faculty from Across the University Tackle Topical Energy Issues

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The energy initiative at the University of Houston has launched a white paper series, aimed at providing leaders from industry, nonprofits and regulatory agencies with information they need to navigate the changing energy landscape.

The first paper, “Driving the Future/A Scenario for the Rapid Growth of Electric Vehicles,” was produced by the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute in conjunction with UH Energy. The institute, known as GEMI, is based in the UH Bauer College of Business.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at UH, said the series will be produced by faculty from across the university, tapping expertise in a variety of disciplines, from business to law, technology and the natural sciences. It will be available on the UH Energy website, with print versions distributed to key decision-makers across a variety of related fields.

“We have many pockets of expertise,” he said. “The faculty work on issues that can have a tremendous impact, not only new technologies but ways to implement these coming technical changes.”

“Driving the Future” is based partially on insights from  a daylong roundtable held by GEMI in which leaders from the energy, finance and nonprofit world considered key drivers and potential scenarios for the advance of electric and autonomous vehicles. The paper, written by GEMI Executive Director Greg Bean and Bauer adjunct professor Christopher Ross, concludes that significant advances in electric vehicle technology and charging technology, combined with the growth of renewable electric power generation and autonomous vehicle technology, have increased the probability of a rapid penetration scenario for electric vehicles.

That’s a key issue for Houston and the industry at large, Krishnamoorti said, a shift that will affect both the crude oil supply chain and the nation’s electricity generation model – more electric vehicles means lower demand for gasoline, diesel and other transportation fuels but higher demand for electricity.

UH Energy offers a popular symposium series focusing on key issues in the field – the 2018-19 series will address the electric grid, the natural gas supply chain, industry resilience and the sustainability of fossil fuels – as well as a blog hosted by Forbes.com. Both of those are intended to reach a wide audience.

The white paper series, in contrast, is focused on distilling information on a variety of energy-related topics in a way that can help industry leaders prepare for the future.

“The white papers will be based on deeper thinking about issues decision-makers need to be concerned with,” Krishnamoorti said. “It’s about going more in depth.”


Photo: Yusuke Kawasaki Flickr (CC BY 2.0)