Energy, Climate and Sustainability

Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars Program

I’ve been involved with the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) for the past 2 years as a part of their Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars (PECS) program.
PECS aims to bring together students, faculty and experts interested in the themes of energy, climate and sustainability to get involved in the broader conversation and foster collaborative initiatives.

PEI’s Youtube channel can be found here: Princeton Environmental Institute

Every year, the PECS fellows collaborate on a multi-disciplinary project on various aspects of energy and climate involving stake holders ranging from policy makers, businessmen, and academia.
Most recently, we went to India to participate in energy seminars at various university campuses and learn about current sustainability practices in the country. A short video summary of this project can be found here.

As a student working in the field of infrared sensors, lasers with extensive environmental applications, I’ve also been involved with the programs of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Part of the latest research initiative from Princeton, made possible by a generous endowment from Gerhard R. Andlinger ’52, this center aims to support a vibrant and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of sustainable energy development, energy conservation, and environmental protection and remediation related to energy.

The Andlinger Center also brings out a series of publications called the Energy Technology Distillates that aims to provide “succinct yet substantive” information to educators, policy makers, business leaders, students and the general public on emerging topics in energy and the environment that combine technological, economic, and policy considerations. The most recent distillate discussed extensively about grid scale energy storage as applicable to renewable energy technologies. You can find more information about this distillate with the links here – Grid Scale Energy Storage.

Nuclear Fusion as a viable renewable energy resource

My most recent project, in collaboration with the Andlinger Center, is to develop the next distillate on the current status and future prospects of Nuclear Fusion Energy as a viable renewable energy source for the future. One of the most fascinating aspects of nuclear fusion energy is the enormous capital and man-power required to research and develop this technology. Fusion, as it currently stands, is often synonymous with multi-billion dollar facilities, international collaborations and often, budget overruns and project delays. My work here will involve analyzing the current status, funding scenarios, policy implications and economic impact of investing in this technology. In addition to its status in the U.S, we will also look at large international collaborations like the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), and how the U.S’ role in this project will affect its national fusion program.

The project is in its very early stages – Please visit this page at a later stage for more information. Meanwhile, here’s a nice video on the latest breakthrough in fusion research by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.