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2015 Spring Forum at IUPUI focuses on 'Diversification of Energy in Indiana'

May 6, 2015


INDIANAPOLIS — The Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy and the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will host the 2015 Spring Forum, “Diversification of Energy in Indiana,” May 13 on campus.

This annual event brings together industry leaders from business, government and academia to explore key issues surrounding the technology, policy and economics of this exciting period in the history of energy generation.

“The Spring Forum is our biggest event of the year, and this is the biggest topic we’ve ever covered,” said center director Peter J. Schubert. “The pace of change in all things ‘energy’ is accelerating, and we want to provide our community a forum for discussing the implications and opportunities.”

This year’s forum is grounded in three facts:

  • Wind power is now cheaper than coal for new facilities.
  • Solar is on track to follow suit in 2017.
  • Self-generation is becoming feasible and economical for farms and factories.

“Despite falling costs, wind and solar forms of power are less reliable than fossil fuels,” Schubert said. “Energy storage using batteries or compressed air can level out renewables but increases the system cost. “Biomass can help fill in, but the technology is still maturing. Natural gas costs have become attractive just as federal regulations are driving retirement of older coal-fired plants. The energy sector in Indiana has not been so greatly impacted for generations.” 

Kelly Huntington, president and CEO of Indianapolis Power and Light, will be the forum’s keynote lunch speaker, building upon the foundations established by Indiana State Reps. Christina Hale and Sharon Nagele in their opening remarks.

Interactive panel discussions, featuring 25 speakers and panelists, will cover “Indiana Stakeholders in Energy Diversification,” “Emerging Energy Technologies — Indiana Focus,” “Finance and Economics of New Energy Projects” and “New Opportunities in Biomass, Biofuels and CHP.” 

Breakfast and networking beginning at 8 a.m. The program will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at IUPUI’s Campus Center, Event Room 450, 420 University Blvd., Indianapolis. Visit the Spring Forum page online to reserve a spot. The registration fee is $75 for the general public; $100 for attorneys and engineers seeking continuing education credits; and $15 for students. Admission includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon dessert, as well as parking in the adjacent Vermont Street Garage.

About the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy

The Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy was established to address the urgent societal needs for clean, affordable and renewable energy sources, improve the nation’s energy security and reduce the negative impacts of climate change. Its primary mission is to promote research excellence in the area of renewable energy through collaborative efforts among faculty in the disciplines of engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, public policy and environmental affairs. It will promote renewable energy applications through teaching, learning, civic engagement and synergistic partnerships with industry, government labs and local communities.

About the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI

The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society.