The future of energy in Illinois

By Tyler Crotzer, @TylerCrotzer_DE

SIU will hold its first Energy Day on Wednesday to educate students on trends in energy and the progress in Illinois to ensure a sustainable future.  

The event is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium. 

After the United Nations conference on climate change — otherwise known as COP-21 — ended in December, world leaders agreed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses produced globally. 


Now that most of the world is working toward a goal, researchers will lead the revolution. Some of those researchers will be in Carbondale for this event.

Peter Littlewood, director of Argonne National Laboratories near Chicago, will be the first speaker of the day. He will address the demand for alternative sources of clean energy and better ways to store it. 

Chris Smith, assistant secretary of fossil energy for the U.S. Department of Energy, will address the future role of fossil fuels in a post-COP-21 world, reducing CO2 emissions and energy security.

An expert panel of three directors from energy research centers from the two SIU campuses and the University of Illinois will discuss the best ways to use carbon dioxide, as well as future research and market opportunities.

Energy Boost research grants and scholarships will be awarded to students during lunch and an expo will take place in the International lounge to present research during breaks throughout the day. 

The day will conclude with a walking tour around SIU’s campus, which explores four laboratories that are researching new forms of renewable technology and refining them to be more efficient to meet energy demands. This will be followed by a tour of the Illinois Energy Development Park in Carterville where participants will get the chance to see large-scale machinery used by the Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center.

Times of the events can be found here in the agenda


Tyler Crotzer can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.