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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Future of Energy

Penn State has a rich history of energy research and development. The School of Mines was established in 1896 and energy has been a cornerstone of the academic program at Penn State ever since. Pennsylvania has been at the center of the energy industry, from the first commercial oil well in the country at Titusville, PA, to today's unfathomly large natural gas phenomenon, the Marcellus Shale. I mention this just as a backdrop for  the excellent video I'm posting today, a replay of the WPSU show, To the Best of My Knowledge, hosted by Penn State President Graham Spanier.

This show was entitled "The Future of Energy", and aired a little over two years ago. The guests were Dr. Amy Glasmeier and Dr. Tom Richard, both of Penn State. They addressed both technology and policy issues, and answered a bunch of diverse and interesting questions. Dr. Spanier himself asked some very insightful and relevant questions.

Go Wood followers may note that in answering a question on wood heating, Dr. Richard mentions that Penn State had sent a small team to Austria to study the state of the art in wood heating and other bioenergy technologies. I had the privilege to participate in putting that program together with Mr. John Karakash, now principal of The Resource Professionals Group, and to be part of the team that made that trip and study of Austrian technologies. The entire group that went has been influential in educating Americans across the country about biomass heating potential for the last three years.

The entire video is nearly an hour long, but when you get the time, kick back and give it a listen. A lot of fascinating issues are raised and answered on the show. You may not agree with every comment made, but the program certainly provides a lot of food for thought, and gives one a good background for the kind of energy issues we have been discussing here at Go Wood.

Enjoy!

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