Meet the Inaugural Duke Energy Renewables Innovation Fund Awardees

Duke Energy Renewables Innovation Fund lead investigators (l-r): senior advisor Donna Attanasio and professors Saniya LeBlanc an
Three teams of faculty will lead undergraduate and graduate students in cross-disciplinary, sustainability research projects.
March 22, 2016
Three research teams led by George Washington University faculty members and researchers have been selected for the inaugural Duke Energy Renewables Innovation Fund Awards, a multi-year research grant program for energy research—including the unprecedented growth of the solar industry.
Solar energy is now cheaper to produce than traditional energy sources in 20 states, according to Amit Ronen, director of the GW Solar Institute. And the United States boasts enough solar electric capacity to power more than 5.4 million American homes. That number is expected to double in 2016.
The rapid expansion of renewable energy projects has triggered a host of questions regarding the changing costs, environmental effects, legal considerations and efficiency and resiliency of solar installations.
Executive Director of Sustainability Kathleen Merrigan says the energy industry’s incorporation of renewable sources is a perfect example of the cross-disciplinary nature of sustainability research. There are currently 200 faculty engaged in sustainability research at GW.