News

Portrait of Doug Scott

State and Federal Leaders to Discuss Energy and Environmental Developments in the PJM Region

In a blog post, the Great Plains Institute's Doug Scott discusses Energy and Environmental Developments in the PJM Region, an event taking place in Washington, D.C., on May 2. Organized by the Great Plains Institute and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the event will focus on the increasingly complex task utilities and regulators face  when responding to the changing power generation mix. 

project team in front of capitol

Farms and Forests: The Future of Federal Climate Policy?

Three Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' researchers are partnering on a Bass Connections project that explores how the Mid-Century Decarbonization Strategy could be turned into concrete policy for U.S. forests and agriculture. Student team member, Alex Rudee, discusses that work to develop policy proposals for carbon sequestration in U.S. forests, agricultural lands and wetlands in a new blog post

Ways Forward for Duke on Climate Neutrality

“The university can lead by not just focusing on reducing emissions but by emphasizing things that catalyze change outside the university,” said Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions during a climate forum on Duke's progress toward its commitment to becoming climate neutral by 2024. The forum explored the major steps still to be taken toward the goal. The most promising of steps include fueling on-campus steam plants with directed biogas from North Carolina swine farms.

Marc Edwards on the Lie Behind the Flint Water Crisis

Marc Edwards, the civil engineering professor who helped to expose the Flint Water Crisis, gave a talk on “Truth-Seeking in an Age of Tribalism: Lessons from the Flint Water Crisis” on April 9. Edwards, a Macarthur Fellow as well as a Presidential Faculty Fellow, was short-listed for Time’s Person of the Year honor in 2016, and received the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in 2018. Edwards’ talk was the 2018 Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship in the Environment and Society, presented annually by the Nicholas School of the Environment, and was co-sponsored by the Duke School of Law, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Hog Waste In NC Has Been A Relatively Untapped Fuel Source. Until Now.

NPR reports that the North Carolina biogas industry began with a promise by Duke University, citing a 2013 study by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions that found the directed biogas approach could lower the cost of swine biogas to as little as 5 cents a kilowatt hour, which is roughly the same price as solar power. Duke University is interested in lowering the price of renewable natural gas because it has a goal of bringing all its emissions to zero by 2024. 

Kate Konschnick Portrait with Quote

Expert Available for Comment on Virginia Carbon Emission Regulations

The public comment period for Virginia’s draft regulations to cut carbon emissions from power plants ends April 9. The draft plan aims to cap emissions from the state’s electricity sector beginning in 2020 and to reduce them 30 percent by 2030.

New Grants Will Advance Collaborative Research by 11 Groups of Duke Faculty

Nicholas Institute staff members are among six groups of Duke faculty that have been awarded multiyear Research Collaboratory grants. Part of the Together Duke academic strategic plan, these new grant opportunities provide flexible, immediate resources to strengthen Duke’s intellectual communities and help research groups move forward on both fundamental inquiry and solutions for real-world problems. Recipients include the Nicholas Institute’s Billy Pizer for the project Decisions, Risks, and Governance Geoengineering; and Martin Doyle and Amy Pickle for Innovations in Infrastructure.  

Marc Edwards, Scientific Crusader Who Exposed the Flint Water Crisis to Speak on April 9

Marc Edwards, the civil engineering professor whose investigative science and advocacy helped expose the Flint Water Crisis, will present a free public lecture at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment on Monday, April 9. Edwards’ talk, “Truth-Seeking in an Age of Tribalism: Lessons from the Flint Water Crisis,” will be at 6 p.m. at Love Auditorium in the Levine Science Research Center on Duke’s West Campus. It is the 2018 Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship in the Environment and Society. Other sponsors of this year’s Ferguson Lecture include the School of Law, Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Crossing Boundaries to Meet Our Energy Needs

Duke University has become a force in energy research, education, and engagement. Philanthropy from donors has continued the momentum of cultivating collaboration among more than 100 different kinds of energy researchers and cross-training students as energy innovators. Recently, electric utility Duke Energy’s former CEO Jim Rogers and his wife, M.A., gave $1.5 million to found the Energy Access Project, a partnership between the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the Duke University Energy Initiative, Sanford School of Public Policy, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Bass Connections at Duke. Faculty, staff and students across disciplines seek to develop actionable solutions to the challenge of the billions of people worldwide living with little to no access to electricity or lacking access to modern cooking technologies. “Whether and how the billions of people on the planet lacking modern energy gain access to it in the coming years has massive implications for global security, public health, and the environment,” said the Nicholas Institute's Jonathan Phillips, director of the Energy Access Project. “Duke’s full engagement on this issue is a shining example for how its service to society and interdisciplinary collaboration missions are coming together to develop solutions to one of the hardest, most important challenges of our time.”

Study by Konschnik Among Journal's Most Significant of 2017

An article on underground natural gas storage facilities published in the journal Environmental Research Letters and co-authored by Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, was among the journal's top 30 articles of 2017. The articles in the "Highlights of 2017" collection were chosen on the basis of reviewer and editor endorsement, significance, scientific impact, and breadth of appeal.