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Research - Energy-Related Research

Energy-Related Research

Initiative for Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy (EEEP)

The Initiative for Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy focuses on the union between energy systems and environmental management and the development of quantitative tools to address decision challenges in these areas. Current projects include:

  • The Program on Coupled Human-Environmental Systems (PCHES) engages researchers from engineering, economics, environmental modeling, and decision-making to establish an innovative framework for developing multi-sector, multi-scale, multi-modal approaches for integrated assessment.
  • The gas-electric coordination project involves engineering, economic, and computational work that addresses the increasing interdependence between natural gas and electric power transmission.
  • The Program on the Evolution of Future Energy Systems focuses on the integration of energy systems engineering and economic models with climate models and insights from robust decision-making. It addresses the under-studied aspects of how energy systems evolve in the face of long-term technological and policy changes or targets when important economic and climate factors are uncertain.

Learn more about EEEP here.

Penn State Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA)

The Penn State Center for Climate Risk Management works to identify:

  • reliable climate hazards projections for energy infrastructures;
  • the most important socio-economic, technological, and Earth systems drivers of poor climate change outcomes;
  • the dynamics and trade-offs in energy system transitions;
  • the energy system transitions required to reliably achieve sustainability targets;
  • the robust strategies for mitigation, carbon sequestration, and geoengineering.

Visit the CLIMA website for more information.

Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR)

The Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) is a research, information dissemination, and education leader that fosters, supports, and advances research and science-based translational outreach on shale energy development, with a specific emphasis on natural gas. MCOR informs and serves a diverse group of stakeholders, including landowners, government officials, business leaders, natural resource organizations, and the natural gas industry, as they are involved with or affected by the exploration, production, transmission, or utilization of shale energy. By promoting collaborations and cooperative initiatives among disciplines and stakeholder groups, MCOR addresses the opportunities and challenges in shale energy development in Pennsylvania, across North America, and globally.

MCOR fulfills this mission by coordinating and facilitating programs of outreach and research, holistically addressing issues generated by the exploration and development of the Marcellus and other unconventional formations.

The Center is also spearheading Penn State's Energy Extension organization and launch.

Learn more about MCOR, its outreach activities, and available resources here.

Shale Network

The Shale Network is a project funded by the National Science Foundation to help scientists and citizens publish data about water resources that may be affected by gas exploitation in shale.

The Shale Network holds an annual workshop to enhance dialogue about water quality and other environmental impacts related to shale gas development among representatives from watershed groups, energy companies, academia, the public and private sectors, and governmental agencies. The theme for the 2019 workshop is "Monitoring Communities and Their Environment."

Learn more about the Shale Network and sign up for events here.

Water and Shale Gas Studies

EESI researchers are using big data to create prediction models that evaluate the impact of the shale gas industry and road salting on surface water chemistry in Pennsylvania streams.


Contact Information

For more information about EESI's energy-related research and activities, please contact Sue Brantley, distinguished professor of geosciences and director of EESI, at sxb7@psu.edu or 814-865-1619.