See the attached fact sheet for a lot of useful information on the current state of world energy.
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FYI, here is an excerpt from the EERE newsletter:

"The International Energy Agency (IEA) on November 12 released the 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook, which noted that North America leads the shift in global energy balance—and that shift includes a movement to renewable energy and energy efficiency. IEA's flagship publication presented a scenario showing that energy efficiency could have a major impact on global energy and climate trends.

The report notes specific steps in six broad areas that need to be addressed in order to make the "Efficient World Scenario," a scenario that shows what energy efficiency improvements can be achieved simply by adopting measures that are justified in economic terms. The steps include making energy efficiency clearly visible along with its economic gains, as well as including efficiency concerns into decision making in government, industry, and society. The IEA report urges policy leaders to deploy a mix of regulations to discourage the least energy efficient approaches, while incentivizing the most energy efficient actions.

The report also projects that renewable energy sources could become the world's second-largest source of power generation by 2015, closing in on coal as the primary source by 2035. The projection noted that this is based on continued subsidies, which amounted to $88 billion in 2011. See the IEA press release and theWorld Energy Outlook executive summary."
The press release can be found at:,33015,en.html
Because reliable sources of renewable energy are vitally important for U.S. security, global stability, and a sustainable future, Research Corporation for Science Advancement has chosen to address the issue of solar energy as its first initiative under the Scialog® program.

Scialog will focus on funding early career scientists and building research teams to undertake groundbreaking studies in solar energy conversion. This initiative is entitled Scialog: Solar Energy Conversion.

In 2010, one multi- and eleven single-investigator awards totaling $1,350,000 were made to thirteen researchers at eleven institutions.

In 2011, Scialog will accept proposals describing fundamental research at the molecular and nanoscale level that show high potential to impact advanced energy technologies. Preference will be given to highly innovative, high risk/high reward plans describing: (i) development of novel high-performing materials that possess greater stability, lower cost, or offer higher efficiency than materials currently used in solar energy devices; (ii) innovative, highly efficient methods for solar energy conversion that take advantage of unique chemical or optical properties and are poised to overcome current bottlenecks limiting performance efficiency.  The single most important characteristic of a successful proposal is that it presents truly innovative ideas that have potential to result in transformative breakthroughs in the fundamental scientific understanding of solar energy conversion to electricity or fuels.

The Scialog initiative is an experiment in collaboration and community building as a method to promote transformative science. It is our intention that the annual Scialog conferences facilitate the process of network building and forming new collaborations.

Scialog® Objectives
  • Support individuals or collaborative teams of early career researchers who present innovative approaches that address the designated research topics;
  • Enable higher-risk research that might fall outside the boundaries of traditional federal funding streams;
  • Establish and convene communities of researchers who will interact intellectually to move the broader research agenda forward;
  • Leverage funding from private foundations and federal agencies to further support successful lines of research.
Scialog® ConferencesThe conferences are an essential feature of the initiative. They will help fulfill a key objective of Scialog: forging a vibrant network of cutting-edge researchers in solar energy conversion. Awardees will meet to share critical feedback on their projects and further develop research agendas. Representatives from funding agencies, government laboratories and industry will be invited. The conferences will provide opportunities to initiate new collaborations and create new funding streams. All active awardees are required to participate in Scialog conferences.  The 2012 Scialog conference will be held October 9-12, 2012 at Biosphere 2 near Tucson, AZ. Travel expenses to attend these conferences should be factored into the award.

The Energy, Power, and Adaptive Systems (EPAS) program invests in the design and analysis of intelligent and adaptive engineering networks, including sensing, imaging, controls, and computational technologies for a variety of application domains. EPAS places emphasis on electric power networks and grids, including generation, transmission and integration of renewable, sustainable and distributed energy systems; high power electronics and drives; and understanding of associated regulatory and economic structures. Topics of interest include alternate energy sources, the Smart Grid, and interdependencies of critical infrastructure in power and communications. The program also places emphasis on energy scavenging and alternative energy technologies, including solar cells, ocean waves, wind, and low-head hydro. In addition, the program supports innovative test beds, and laboratory and curriculum development to integrate research and education. EPAS invests in adaptive dynamic programming, brain-like networked architectures performing real-time learning, neuromorphic engineering, telerobotics, and systems theory. The program supports distributed control of multi-agent systems with embedded computation for sensor and adaptive networks. EPAS provides additional emphasis on emerging areas, such as quantum systems engineering, quantum and molecular modeling and simulation of devices and systems. Proposals for the EPAS program may involve collaborative research to capture the breadth of expertise needed for such multidisciplinary integrative activities. ECCS will consider supporting a limited number of small team proposals of three or more Investigators from different disciplines and/or universities.Areas of interest include:Kishan BahetiControl Theory and Hybrid Dynamical Systems Distributed and Mobile Networked Control Systems Theory in Molecular, Cellular, Synthetic Biology and Medicine Estimation in Sensing and Imaging Systems Reliability and Control of Renewable Energy Networked System Sensor Network for Energy Efficient Buildings Transportation Networks (Aerospace, Vehicles) Human Robot Interaction Stochastic Modeling and Applications George MaracasEnergy Collection, Photovoltaic, and Thermal Devices Novel Energy Conversion Devices Renewable Energy Devices and Systems Power Conversion, Generators, Motors, and Network Interfacing Energy and Power Sensing Technologies Energy Storage Technologies High Voltage, High Power Switching and Conversion Devices Paul WerbosAdaptive and Intelligent Systems Transmission and Distribution Systems Intelligent Power Grid Quantum Systems and Modeling Neural Networks High Performance and Multiscale Modeling Cognitive Optimization and Prediction Intelligent Vehicles and Robots
A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change12. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally34. However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions56. An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important. People have strong interests in the welfare of their society, so deniers may act in ways supporting mitigation efforts where they believe these efforts will have positive societal effects. In Study 1, climate change deniers (N=155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development. Study 2 (N=347) replicated this experimentally, showing that framing climate change action as increasing consideration for others, or improving economic/technological development, led to greater pro-environmental action intentions than a frame emphasizing avoiding the risks of climate change. To motivate deniers’ pro-environmental actions, communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society, rather than focusing on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.
DEADLINE: November 16, 2012

Through the SEES Fellows Program, NSF seeks to advance science, engineering, and education to inform the societal actions needed for environmental and economic sustainability and human well-being while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges. The Program's emphasis is to facilitate investigations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and address issues of sustainability through a systems approach, building bridges between academic inquiry, economic growth, and societal needs. The Fellow's proposed investigation must be interdisciplinary and allow him/her to obtain research experiences beyond his/her current core disciplinary expertise. Fellows are required to develop a research partnership(s) that will advance and broaden the impact/scope of the proposed research, and present a plan for their own professional development in the area of sustainability science and engineering.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK , N.C. -- A new book, Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril, offers a balanced look at the intense debate surrounding shale gas production and the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The book was written by Vikram Rao, Ph.D., executive director of the Research Triangle Energy Consortium, who has more than 30 years of experience in energy research and development.

Written for a non-technical audience, the book is intended to inform both sides of the fracking debate by highlighting potentially positive and negative outcomes associated with shale gas production, which has the potential to transform the worldwide energy-based economy.

The book examines shale gas usage from the standpoint of economic value, potential environmental hazards and remedies, and political considerations with a goal of introducing supporters and opponents to issues they were not previously aware of. By analyzing current and past developments in natural gas production, Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril lays the groundwork needed to inform future policy decisions regarding this resource.

For example, Rao suggests “The biggest winner from a prohibition of fracturing and hence shale gas production would be Russia, closely followed by Iran… Absent shale gas, Russian gas will increasingly enjoy a monopoly in many European countries.”

The book includes an introduction to shale gas, an in-depth analysis of environmental and economic issues related to fracking, and concludes with suggestions for research and guidance for policy making related to responsible shale gas production. Each section contains short chapters that are fairly self-contained, allowing readers to focus on chapters of interest.

Shale Gas: The Promise and the Peril was published by RTI Press and is available on the RTI Press website.


Deadline: December 3rd

There are four categories. Perhaps the most relevant to us is  Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing (NM). A general overview of the SBIR program is:

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The SBIR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission. The program is governed by Public Law 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF SBIR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the SBIR legislation by transforming scientific discovery into both social and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization. Accordingly, NSF has formulated broad solicitation topics for SBIR that conform to the high-technology investment sector's interests.

The four broad topics are:

   ·   Biological and Chemical Technologies (BC)

   ·   Education Applications (EA) 

   ·   Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EI)

   ·   Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing (NM)

DEADLINE: November 1, 2012

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) announces an open competition for the support of projects through the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI). Announced by the U.S. and Indian governments, OSI aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education. 

To encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development, and engage civil society, the OSI enables U.S. colleges and universities and Indian counterpart institutions to pursue objectives cooperatively through exchange visits of faculty, administrators, post graduate Indian students, and U.S. graduate students who can demonstrate the ability to work independently. Exchange activities may include but are not limited to curriculum design, research collaboration, team teaching, focused series of exchanges, seminars, among other activities.  Activities should be designed to develop expertise, advance scholarship and teaching, and promote reliable, long-term communication between partner institutions.

Proposals in the following fields are eligible: Energy; Sustainable Development; Climate Change; Environmental Studies; Education and Educational Reform; Public Health; and Community Development and Innovation.