The N.C. Solar Center currently has three major technological thrust areas, including clean transportation, clean power and efficiency, and renewable energy.
Alternative fuels/clean transportation
The N.C. Solar Center is dedicated to supporting innovative transportation technologies that can serve North Carolina. Past initiatives include supporting the installation of E85 and B20 fueling stations in North Carolina counties, reducing truck idling emissions, and hosting annual educational conferences across the state about the air quality benefits of cleaner air.
In North Carolina, industry comprises about one-third of the state’s energy usage. Implementing cleaner energy programs and improving energy efficiency can bring about cleaner air, save money on electricity, reduce carbon emissions, bring jobs, and support economic development. The N.C. Solar Center hosts initiatives to promote more efficient Combined Heat and Power Cogeneration. The center also offers energy efficiency assessment services to industrial facilities across the Southeast.
In North Carolina, renewable energy presents an opportunity to increase energy security, create jobs, and curtail harmful air emissions. Through the NC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards Act passed in 2007, North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to require that energy needs be met in some part by solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable technologies. Some of the programs that the N.C. Solar Center has worked on previously include: promoting research in canola oil for biofuels, supporting biomass energy generation, and providing solar PV feasibility assessments.