To improve renewable energy generation and power conversion, Martin Ordonez, Fred Kaiser Professor in Power Conversion and Sustainability at UBC is expanding a research and education program. This research is funded by a $ 1-million investment by the Fred Kaiser Foundation and will help store and use renewable energy.
Ordonez said as Canadians are trying to reduce greenhouse emissions, the efficiency in generating energy is critical not only to them but also to the future on a global scale.
The goal of this project is to derive maximum amounts of energy from sustainable resources in order to compete with hydrocarbon alternatives. To support this objective, at least five top-tier researchers are added, doubling the program’s current size.
He said the main challenge is to change existing electrical infrastructure to support the expansion of low carbon energy sources like wind and solar.
However, according to Ordonez developing countries have a different challenge to face. With a clean slate they can envision a better system by developing an electrical system with sustainable energy sources in mind
The development of sustainable resources would be economically feasible for developing countries after research and testing.
Ordonez said as part of the program, they will train graduate students and research professionals who will be skillful engineers capable of tackling challenges associated with sustainable electrical energy. An outreach program will be planned to draw undergraduates from across the globe in different engineering disciplines. They will join a team of researchers investigating sustainable power solutions for developing countries.