University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Initiative for Renewable Energy & the Environment

Since 2003, IREE has awarded over $40 million to over 300 research efforts, advancing innovation and application in six key areas: Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Conservation and Energy Efficiency, Solar, Wind, Hydro and Geothermal, Policy, Economics and Ecosystems, and Hydrogen Production, Storage and Use.

IREE took a systems-based approach that integrated scientific, economic and environmental perspectives. IREE-funded projects tapped the breadth and depth of expertise at the University of Minnesota, including seven colleges, five campuses and three research and outreach centers. To date, over 750 researchers at the University and over 250 external collaborators have been engaged in IREE-supported research.

IREE provided funding for promising technologies and worked with academic and industrial partners to overcome roadblocks that kept potentially useful and profitable technologies from succeeding in the marketplace.

IREE-funded research spanned the spectrum from basic science to commercial application. Some projects paid dividends almost immediately; others laid the foundation for tomorrow’s innovation.

Bioenergy & Bioproducts

Included an emphasis on algae, catalysis and next-gen feedstocks.  Projects ranged from thermo-chemical conversion of biomass to sustainable polymer production.
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Conservation & Energy Efficiency

Projects ranged from developing more fuel efficient engines to evaluating small-scale renewable energy systems for homes and businesses.
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Solar projects, including solar thermal energy and photovoltaics, ranged from biofuels production using concentrated solar to next-gen materials development.
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Wind, Hydro & Geothermal

Projects ranged from improved energy production for large wind turbines to geothermal and carbon sequestion for electricity generation.
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Policy, Economics & Ecosystems

Projects ranged from studying the emission impacts of renewable fuels to life-cycle assessments of different energy sources.
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Hydrogen Production, Storage & Use

Projects ranged from producing hydrogen from waste biomass to supporting an innovative wind-to-hydrogen facility at the U of M, Morris.
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The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) is a signature program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.

Check out IREE's research impacts, pioneering projects, external collaborations, educational initiatives and more in the 2012 annual report (PDF).

Measuring the carbon footprint of Gevo, Inc.’s Luverne, MN corn supply: A survey based assessment of the potential for delivering a low carbon corn grain feedstock for biofuels. Read the report (PDF).