The Energy Center at Appalachian State University was established in 2001 to support energy research and development occurring through faculty, staff and students in areas of energy efficiency, renewables, policy analysis, and forecasting. The Energy Center?s capabilities were confirmed January 2002 with the award of the North Carolina Energy Plan Support Contract from the North Carolina State Energy Office to Appalachian State University. The Center is administratively housed within the Appalachian Regional Development Institute, an applied research and public service program through which the University makes its resources, faculty and professional staff available to address economic, business, government and social issues and problems related to regional development.
The Energy Center is committed to research, development, policy analysis and demonstrations in all areas of energy, with a stated mission to facilitate the work of faculty and students engaged in teaching, research and outreach activities associated with energy technologies, conservation and policy. Development of the Energy Center was motivated by the recognition that a unique opportunity was available at Appalachian State University because of the faculty, programs, and curriculum. Within the University, faculty who are nationally recognized as experts in their field have successfully completed multiple levels of research in environmental economy, biology, wind technology, public policy, construction technology and engineering, establishing new curriculum areas that include sustainable development, appropriate technology, and environmental policy and planning. The Center ties together faculty and staff from seven different departments of the University (Technology, Geography, Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Political Science), and facilitates partnerships with local private sector entities as well as local, state, regional and federal public offices. The potential of the Energy Center is enhanced by Appalachian State University?s established tradition of involving students in experiential education. This concept, the involvement of students as learning professionals in research, is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both student and client.
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