Illuminating National Energy Priorities

Welcome to RTEC…

The Research Triangle Energy Consortium. We represent Duke University, NC State University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International to make a major impact on solving the nation and the world’s technical, economic, societal and public policy problems related to the use of energy.

Over the past few years, our thrust areas have remained much the same, and can be found in the Current Activity section.  There we detail the areas of emphasis, including specific activity related to each objective.

Our Director Vikram Rao wrote the book Shale Gas: the Promise and the Peril published by RTI Press in 2012.  A revised and updated edition including shale oil and other recent occurrences is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2015.  The original book has been used in nine courses in 7 universities.  Free PDF copies are made available to students in such courses.

The big story in energy in 2014 and 2015 has been the plummeting price of oil.  The causes and consequences have been the subject of the Breakfast Forums and the Directors Blog in recent months.  The commentary has included policy elements such as the effect of current restrictions on the export of oil and economics elements such as impact on renewables.  A possible new normal of oil priced around $50 per barrel will create winners in importing nations such as the US, China and India, and losers in the exporting nations such as Venezuela, Russia and Nigeria.

Since we began this site solar energy has reached a high level of maturity.  In many places material portions of electricity are sourced in this manner and the trajectory is positive.  Since oil is minimally used to create electricity (pretty much only in the Middle East is it a major fuel for this purpose), the oil price drop is not a deterrent except for a minor contributory effect on natural gas price.

Please feel free to follow the menu to the left as you navigate around our website. We also recommend that you express your views about any of our blog posts via the comments section of each blog post or thorough our Twitter, @RTEC_RTP.