The mission of the Energy Transition Lab is to leverage the expertise of the University of Minnesota to work in collaboration with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors in transitioning our energy system to the future. We help to develop new energy policy pathways, institutions and regulations, and create a focal point for innovative solutions.
As a land grant university, the University of Minnesota is committed to helping solve our local and global “grand challenges.” Through the ETL, the University’s outstanding researchers and thought leaders will help our energy system meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The ETL focuses on energy efficiency, renewable energy, electricity and transportation systems, energy storage, energy and environmental justice, and responses to climate change. It produces reports and recommendations to policymakers and regulators, conferences and workshops convening key stakeholders, and other public events. The ETL provides valuable learning opportunities for students, who participate in shaping solutions through their research and classwork. The ETL aims to become the “go-to” place for experts and leaders beyond the University to work with University faculty, students and staff toward solutions to energy challenges.
The ETL is embarking on a high-impact set of collaborative projects for 2016, in 4 key focus areas: Energy Storage, Local Energy Transition, Corporate Energy Transition, and Energy Justice. This includes work to:
- Convene stakeholders and advance energy storage through the Minnesota Energy Storage Alliance
- Develop regional climate mitigation/adaptation and energy strategies and action steps for cities in the Twin Cities region, which represents 183 cities and more than half the state’s population, and work to replicate these strategies for other cities
- Analyze opportunities and barriers to bioenergy, solar, combined heat and power, and net zero energy building retrofits in the city of Duluth and the Northeast region
- Develop actionable proposals for the University of Minnesota to invest in solar energy
- Provide legal research to support efforts in the Twin Cities to enhance environmental justice
- Develop pathways to corporate energy transition
The Energy Transition Lab is a strategic initiative of the University’s Institute on the Environment with funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research and funding from the McKnight Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.