Energy Research

NAU participates in a wide range of research encompassing the major renewable energy technologies and issues. Click on each research area to find out details about specific projects. Click here to view our reports and publications.

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    NAU is a regional and national leader in wind energy research, with projects that reach internationally. Arizona has a viable wind resource for utility scale and residential development. NAU provides wind maps and data for Arizona, has wind resource assessment capabilities, and performs research projects related to grid integration of wind power, wind resource modeling, and wind energy economics and policy.

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    NAU performs research in grid integration and interconnection of solar electricity, as well as solar thermal and residential solar systems. Arizona has a spectacular solar resource for passive and active application.

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    Synthetic Fuels

    The Arizona Synthetic Fuels Project aims to capture and recycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while harnessing the power of renewable electricity in order to produce a carbon-neutral liquid fuel that is fully compatible with our existing gasoline infrastructure.

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    NAU researchers are looking into how hydro can play a crucial role in renewable energy deployment.

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    Energy Frontiers

    NAU researchers are exploring novel applications of renewable energy.

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    Energy Utilization

    Energy utilization encompasses all of NAU's energy efficiency, demand side management, smart grid, or end use energy research. 

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    policy meeting cropped

    Energy Policy and Economics

    NAU researchers are looking at how renewable energy policy drives project development and influences economic health. 

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    Renewable Energy


    Dr. Michael Shafer’s lab specializes in self-reliant systems, energy harvesting, bio inspiration, and the integration of engineering system and biology.