Google, GE, ClearPath join new Princeton-focused research consortium focused on low-carbon technologies

Applying academic research to help accelerate low-carbon innovation, Princeton’s ZERO lab has formed a new coalition of corporations and researchers focused on scalable clean energy technologies. The consortium, in line with the Princeton E-affiliates Partnership corporate membership program, includes the founders of Google, GE and ClearPath.

Jesse Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment and Principal Researcher at ZERO Laboratory, helped design and launch the new consortium to help organizations transform their businesses and make key energy technologies that are more cost-effective and faster to implement.

“We want to provide practical insights and roadmaps that can support decision-making, drive investment and accelerate innovation,” Jenkins said.

The consortium creates an opportunity to connect big players fighting for a clean energy future.

The consortium aims to help leaders from different parts of the energy sector accelerate new clean energy technologies. Jenkins gave reasons for appointing these first members.

Google was the first global corporation to commit coincides on energy search from his data centers and offices worldwide with local carbon-free electricity on an hourly basis, called 24/7 carbon-free electricity supply. The company also has many years of experience in investing in clean technology start-ups and using its purchasing power to transform clean electricity markets.

GE is a manufacturer of equipment with a wide portfolio of energy technologies, including outdoor and offshore wind turbines, gas turbines and modern nuclear energy. Through this technology, the company helps generate one third of the world’s electricity. The company is also developing new technologies, such as hydrogen gas turbines, carbon capture solutions, offshore wind superconducting generators and advanced nuclear power plants with small modular reactors.

ClearPath develops and advocates for a clean energy policy, focusing on revolutionary innovations in the energy and industrial sectors.

Jenkins said the consortium will support two research areas in his group – developing models and methods to support information in decision-making and assessing technologies for economic, environmental and other impacts. As part of their technology assessment pillar, ZERO Lab researchers are conducting ongoing research on long-term energy storage, flexible geothermal energy systems, carbon capture and sequestration, and commercial fusion power plants.

One of the goals of the consortium, Jenkins said, is to pool funding and maximize research that can be done in this area when supported by organizations with similar interests. The structure of the program and the flexible funding allow researchers to quickly focus on tackling the most important and interesting research issues without having to wait for specific funding cycles or calls for proposals from grant agencies. It also creates an opportunity to connect the big players struggling with the future of clean energy, he said. Jenkins hopes to hire other members to complement the group, such as a private venture capital group focused on clean energy or the utility’s investment division.

GE, Google and ClearPath are also joining Princeton e-affiliate partnership, the corporate membership program administered by the Andlinger Center. This will allow organizations to collaborate with faculty members on a range of topics, including optimizing energy architecture in data centers, securing the energy grid, and transforming waste streams into carbon-rich resources.

“The consortium provides an example of the value of collaboration between our e-affiliate members to maximize the impact of Andlinger Center research. The different perspectives these consortium members offer improve the quality of research and enhance the impact of research on their individual organizations and on wider national decarbonisation efforts, ”said Chris Greig, Acting Associate Director of External Partnerships at Andlinger Center. “This has been a key goal of the Andlinger Center and E-affiliates since their inception,” said Greig, who is also Theodora D. ’78 & William H. Walton III ’74 Senior Research Fellow at Andlinger Center.

The collaboration is based on Jenkins’ work with Google, which quantifies the electrical system benefits 24/7 carbon-free electricity delivery. The study found that using local carbon-free energy can prevent significantly more carbon pollution than buying enough energy from renewable sources to meet annual needs. then comes to a price premium. The strategy also accelerates the deployment of modern energy technologies, providing a critical niche market to increase and reduce costs over time, which promotes full-scale transformation of electricity grids.

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