The University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI), in conjunction with the Michigan Institute for Teaching and Research in Economics (MITRE), hosted a Fall 2014 conference on economic and policy research that addresses energy use in the transportation sector and its environmental implications. The objective was to bring scholars at the frontier of transportation and energy economics research together with practitioners from industry and government to exchange ideas and research findings.
There is significant momentum behind natural gas extraction efforts in the United States, with many states embracing it as an opportunity to create jobs and foster economic strength. Natural gas extraction has also been championed as a way to move toward energy independence and a cleaner energy supply. First demonstrated in the 1940’s, hydraulic fracturing is now the predominant method used to extract natural gas in the U.S.
The Hydrogen Energy Technology Laboratory (HETL) supports efforts to the discover and develop materials, processes and systems that have the potential to significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of producing hydrogen from domestic natural resources and improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of devices used to convert hydrogen into electrical and/or thermal energy including research on fuel cells and biomimetic systems.
Transportation is one of several major sectors that contribute to climate change. Globally, the sector's roughly 25% share of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is similar to its share of energy consumption. Because liquid fuels are so well suited for powering cars, trucks, boats and aircraft, transportation is uniquely reliant on oil, which is the best natural resource for producing liquid fuels.