New faculty help invest in state's renewable energy future
Every day, Minnesota community leaders ask more questions about renewable energy and its long-term impacts. To help examine the most viable options for the state's energy future, Extension will add two faculty members focused on the economics of bio-based fuels during the next year. Increased funding from the Legislature's 2007 Agriculture State Special Fund helped make these new positions a reality.
The new faculty members will work closely with existing educators to research questions from Minnesota communities about renewable energy, says Extension Dean Bev Durgan.
"Some communities are looking at gasification plants, while others are considering investing in wind turbines," Durgan says. "Will these options prove economical and sustainable in certain parts of the state, and what does it mean for the long-term?" This outreach-based approach will enhance the University of Minnesota's commitment to producing the next generation of renewable fuels, with more than 100 research projects looking at biodiesel, ethanol, wind and hydrogen.
Wind turbines are just one of an array of renewable energy options Minnesota communities want to explore in the search for long-term economic benefits.