West Virginia Universitys energy research agenda is on target with recommendations made by Imagine West Virginias first policy report,Coal: Energy, the Environment and West Virginia,according to WVU s vice president of research and economic development.

Curt Petersons comments came at a seminar co-sponsored by the West Virginia Coal Forum and the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy.

He pointed to WVU s new Advanced Energy Initiative and the NRCCE as two high-profile examples demonstrating WVU s commitment to several of the recommendations in the Imagine West Virginia report.

These two major programs effectively address each of the recommendations that focuses on developing research and coal technologies,Peterson said.

Equally important are our technology transfer programs that are able to reach out globally,he added.Many of WVU s faculty members are recognized internationally for their expertise in coal, energy and environmental topics as well.

Peterson also noted that WVU offers a range of educational activities focused on ensuring the future of the coal industrys work force and leadership.

He said the Advanced Energy Initiative vision is for WVU to break down the barriers Americas energy producers encounter as they work for responsible approaches to energy independence. Through the initiative, WVU will become an internationally recognized leading academic institution, driving innovation in the socially and environmentally responsible production, management and use of fossil energy.

Peterson said the Advanced Energy Initiative was carefully crafted in consultation with expert WVU faculty, state and federal agencies and private industry. In addition to shattering barriers with innovative research, the initiative will help formulate policy recommendations so that leaders of today and tomorrow will have the facts they need to make sound decisions on diverse topics, from carbon management to environmental regulation.

The NRCCE , now in its 30th year, brings together researchers from WVU and other universities, organizations, industry and the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory.

For example, NRCCE represents WVU as a member of the Zero Emissions Research and Technology consortium, headed by Montana State University. Funded by ZERT , a WVU research team from the WVU Department of Geology and Geography and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is participating in a project investigating carbon dioxide storage in the thin Upper Freeport coal seam at a site in Marshall County, owned by CONSOL Energy Inc.

In cooperation with CONSOL , the WVU team will monitor how carbon dioxide gas interacts with the geological formations and groundwater in the area. Known as geologic carbon sequestration, the idea of storing carbon dioxide underground is of major interest, especially to utilities that one day may be required by regulators to capture and dispose of carbon dioxide in response to concerns about global climate change.

Peterson commended the Imagine West Virginia group, saying he was pleased that NRCCE Director Richard Bajura has been invited to be a member of an independent body of energy expert advisers being created by A Vision Shared in response to the last recommendation of the Imagine West Virginia report.