Renewable Energy


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Brown puck-shaped biomass for fuel
NRRI is a key partner in the Consortium for Advanced Wood-to-Energy Solutions.

The overarching goal of this Initiative is to develop and advance the use of renewable resources for the production of electrical energy, solid, liquid and gaseous fuels and to use natural features for energy storage.

Renewable resources are defined as those that can be replenished in nature in a relatively short time frame and include wind, solar, hydro, biomass and natural movements or mechanisms, such as geothermal heat and tidal motion. A primary focus area of this Initiative includes the thermal use of modified biomass resources to allow power plants and industrial processes to displace coal to meet future carbon restrictions and other environmental issues. Other technology concepts are also being investigated with applications of renewable energy storage, wind and solar, to aid the state of Minnesota in achieving its renewable energy goals.

Specific Supporting Goals:

  1. Develop and demonstrate a portfolio of integrated systems for implementing biomass-conversion energy and fuel production strategies.
  2. Develop public/private partnerships to leverage and commercialize the technology developed and to optimize resource utilization (people, equipment, expertise, funding).
  3. Assess opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of energy systems, including ways to store energy to optimize renewable generation.

Initiative Director: Donald Fosnacht, dfosnach@d.umn.edu, (218) 788-2682.

For more information on this initiative, please navigate to a specific research area.