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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Energy Leaders Look to Achieve Clean Energy

Elected officials, business leaders and energy experts convened at the Advanced Energy Conference, held at the Manhattan Hilton   to discuss the changing face of energy, with many presenting technological innovations, bringing questions and wanting answers. Stony Brook’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, or AERTC, hosted the conference from Monday, Nov. 8 to Tuesday, Nov. 9.

“People listen to talks and from that people result with joint projects and buy products,”   Yacov Shamash, Ph.D. vice president for economic development and the dean for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University, said on Tuesday, Nov. 9. “The conference was terrific, we had a 50 percent increase in number of attendees.”

The conference, which is in its fourth year, welcomed approximately 1,400 attendees and 16 keynote speakers.  Due to last year’s conference, in which almost 1,000 attendees needed to be accommodated on Long Island, AERTC decided to find a much larger venue this year.

Robert Catell, chairman of  AERTC, and chairman of the New York Smart Grid Consortium was not only pleased with the turnout.  He was was also happy about  the agreement between the AERTC and Hydro-Quebec, the largest electric generator in Canada and a leading hydroelectric generating company, to advance development of new clean energy technologies in the hydroelectric sector.

“I walk around the exhibition booth and see the technologies that have developed here in New York state,” said Edward Reinfurt, executive director of New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, during  Tuesday morning’s keynote. “You look at our challenges ahead of us and you get a sense of optimizing that we can get this done.  We can help achieve our nation’s and our state’s energy objectives.”

The exhibition hall included more than 90 booths of companies showcasing their innovations.  The hall looped around the second floor and was connected to the parlor rooms, which accompanied 49 sessions of innovative companies.

These companies shared ideas and projects that are underway and have developed,  including the Long Island Power Authority’s, or LIPA’s Offshore Wind Project with Long Island and New York City.  According to the project’s website, the project “is proposed for 350 megawatts of generation, with the ability to expand to 700 megawatts, giving it the potential to be the largest offshore wind project in the country.”

Alexander Orlov, Ph.D., an assistant professor of material science and engineering at Stony Brook University, presented at the conference.  Orlov is researching nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide and interacting them with ultraviolet radiation.  This combination can be used  to create coatings on buildings to clean up the air because of its antimicrobial properties.

Altairnano, a manufacturer of nano-materials,  presented its rechargeable lithium-titanate batteries.  These batteries are longer lasting and more efficient than normal lithium ion batteries and can be used for hybrid transportation.

Other companies such as  FutureTech Enterprise, Inc. and Hudson Clean Energy Partners were featured in an exhibition hall.

FutureTech Enterprise, Inc.’s iFortress is designed to structurally surpass the International Building Code requirements and protect data from environmental threats such as fire, water, heat, humidity, dust, explosions and bullets, which allows companies to save money from heating and cooling, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

Hudson Clean Energy Partners’, a private equity firm, which invests in renewable energy, has invested  in solar power plants connected to utility stations to deliver power to consumers, which will reduce demand for expensive transmission lines and help prevent power plants from peaking.  They are also investing in the innovation of converting silicon into solar cells without consuming high energy to produce clean, renewable energy compared to fossil-fuel.

An important recurring aspect of the conference was the role of smart-grid technologies, which are efficient electricity networks that are capable of making automated decisions.   It is hoped that communicating with policy makers can help facilitate the grid’s deployment in the state.

Thomas Congdon, deputy secretary for energy for Governor David A. Paterson, emphasized the initiatives different companies are taking that will put the state on path to achieve the 45 by 15 goal, a plan to meet 45 percent of New York state’s electricity needs by 2015 by reducing carbon emissions, lowering electricity bills for consumers and becoming more energy independent.  He also estimated that embarking on these missions will create 50,000 new jobs.

Paterson was also present on the last day of the conference, and spoke out about a climate plan for New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, which would allow economic development agencies to use clean energy policies as a sales pitch to attract clean technology manufacturers to New York, thereby creating jobs.

“It certainly demonstrated the studies of energy, getting recognition, and developing new technology,” Catell said.  “One of the main goals is to create awareness of what the AERTC could be doing with energy and technology.”

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  • A

    AnsaNov 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    A lot was accomplished actually, different companies were present and each company was there to promote their technology and ideas, leading to partnerships and collaboration between them and anyone interested in investing. The conference was there to not only update everyone on progress but also to create partnerships and stir job creation that way.

  • A

    AndrewWNov 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    “Paterson was also present on the last day of the conference, and spoke out about a climate plan for New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.”

    Really? How? More meetings?

  • A

    AndrewWNov 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Great conference, but no breakthroughs? So “networking” is going to lead to innovation?

    What exactly was accomplished at this confab?