A full slate of energy-related events is being scheduled for the week of October 2nd as the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) prepares for its annual Notre Dame Energy Week. Celebrating its 10th year, the week will feature academic lectures and interactive events with the goal of increasing awareness of energy issues.
One of this year’s themes will be on our own campus and the many initiatives Notre Dame is already undertaking to tackle the energy challenges here and around the world. Paul Kempf, Notre Dame’s Senior Director of Utilities and Maintenance, will address the University’s diversified plans for improving campus-wide energy efficiencies and conservation strategies, including the reduction of harmful emissions and the increased use of renewable energy sources. Kempf will focus on the details of current projects, including the geothermal fields, hydro power, and solar panels, and will highlight those that are still in the planning and feasibility stages, as outlined in the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy recently announced by University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
In line with the University’s goal to be coal-free by 2020, the Center for Social Concerns will host a screening of Blood on the Mountain with a post-screening discussion with filmmaker Mari-Lynn Evans. This comprehensive documentary covers Appalachia’s history of resource extraction and its economic connection to coal.
In addition, several tours will be available to showcase some of the most notable areas on campus that have already implemented sustainable energy practices. These include Notre Dame’s power plant, the solar power system array on top of Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering, and the green roof at the renovated Morris Inn. An Energy Challenge will round out the week with contenders taking to the footpaths of Notre Dame’s campus to explore and discover other unique and distinct areas of sustainability.
Energy Week also will include a Mass in honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, a discussion about careers in renewable energy, and a Sustainability Fair with local vendors. The other major theme this year is in response to a student survey where over 90% of the respondents said they were interested in learning more about solar energy. Energy Week will kick-off a series of events surrounding discussions on solar power, starting with a panel discussion involving experts from academia and industry. Prof. Randall Ellingson from The University of Toledo, Nicholas Strevelfrom First Solar, and Joseph Karrasch from American Electric Power will discuss the technological, business, and policy sides of the future of solar power. Other events will be planned throughout the year to raise awareness and understanding of this increasingly popular and dynamic area of alternative energy.