NETL Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA)
Fossil energy will continue to play a major role in generating power and fuels for the immediate future, while addressing the need to minimize environmental impact, and transition to sustainable advanced energy systems that are carbon-neutral. NETL-RUA's applied research portfolio is developed collaboratively by the member organizations as a fully integrated program in which researchers from all Alliance organizations work side-by-side to share research facilities, data, and ideas to jointly identify solutions to our Nation's energy challenges. The NETL-RUA Program is managed by the NETL's Office of Research and Development.
In support of the DOE-FE program mission, NETL’s Office of Research and Development conducts onsite research that addresses the key issue facing domestic coal, natural gas, and oil: to develop the science and technology to economically power homes, industries, businesses, and transportation with fossil fuels while protecting our environment and enhancing our energy independence. In collaboration with the NETL Strategic Center for Coal and the Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil, NETL’s Office of Research and Development conducts onsite fossil energy-focused research that can be grouped into the following four discrete focus areas.
- Energy System Dynamics (ESD)
The ESD focus area seeks to conceive, analyze, and develop pre-commercial energy conversion technologies that minimize the environmental impact of fossil fuel use and that maximize reliable use of domestic energy sources and infrastructure.
- Geological and Environmental Sciences (GES)
The GES focus area seeks to assess the capacity, suitability, and permanence of potential carbon sequestration reservoirs, to assess the ability of unconventional reservoirs to safely and economically produce gas and oil and assist in that production, and to be recognized for performing sound scientific research.
- Computational and Basic Sciences (CBS)
The CBS focus area seeks to integrate physical and chemical experimental research with computational sciences as the preferred method for understanding and developing technologies, advanced materials, and multi-scale energy systems ranging from the molecular-scale to device-scale to plant-scale.
- Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
The MSE focus area is actively pursuing the development of materials and strategies that promote advanced energy conversion technologies, utilizing both computational and experimental approaches ranging from fundamental science through pilot-scale evaluation.
A unique aspect of NETL-RUA is its expanded focus that complements fossil energy research while supporting the broader mission of DOE to advance energy options to fuel our economy, strengthen our security, and improve our environment. As the U.S. energy portfolio evolves over the coming centuries, NETL-RUA will apply its R&D expertise and facilities to develop innovative technology pathways between energy sources. Fossil energy-based systems will be the basis for these pathways, utilizing carbon management technologies while integrating other energy forms, such as renewable or nuclear energy technologies. As a well-recognized leader in energy systems research and development, NETL-RUA can apply this expertise to address technical challenges across all forms of energy production technologies: fossil, renewable, and nuclear. These combined energy sources need to be integrated in a truly synergistic manner and ensure that power or fuels derived from the hybrid systems are both cheaper and more environmentally acceptable than those derived from either fossil energy or the alternative energy sources alone.