USC Upstate News

Solar, Wind and Biofuel: Forum on Renewable Forms of Energy

06- 10- 2008

Spartanburg, S.C. – Renewable forms of energy, including solar, wind, and biofuel, will be the topic for a forum to be held on the campus of University of South Carolina Upstate on Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Campus Life Center Ballroom. The forum is free and open to the public, and will include speakers from the South Carolina Energy Office, and the Departments of Geological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina.

“Renewable forms of energy include solar, wind, biofuels, and other sources,” says Chris Toumey, director of outreach for USC’s Nanotechnology Center, and forum organizer. “These forms of energy are attractive because it is hoped that they will reduce the release of carbon into the atmosphere, and because they could help make us more energy independent. At the same time, there are scientific debates about the economic and ecological costs of renewables. This forum will enable the people of South Carolina to examine and discuss these issues.” Attendees will also be able to view displays, sponsored by environmental organizations and energy groups, about renewable energy and energy efficiency and pick up literature.

Erika Hartwig, renewable energy coordinator at the South Carolina Energy Office, and Dr. Venkat Lakshmi, professor of geological sciences at USC will lead the forum with short presentations, and then will open the discussion to comments and questions from the audience.

The forum is the fourth in a series of five energy forums held in locations across the state by the College of Engineering and Computing and the Office of Research at the University of South Carolina. Other forums addressed nuclear power, coal, hydrogen, and energy conservation. Toumey says that “in these forums, South Carolinians will see that we face difficult decisions ahead, that our decisions need to be informed by good science, and that the University of South Carolina contributes imagination and leadership to our energy future.”

For more information, contact Chris Toumey at (803)777-2221 or