|EERC research impacts over 7,300 jobs |
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), research at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is creating over 7,300 private-sector jobs in the state and throughout the region.
The EERC has conducted approximately $258 million worth of coal, power, oil, and natural gas programs in North Dakota, which include DOE and private-sector funding. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Regional Input-Output Modeling System II, an average of 28.5 direct and indirect jobs are created per $1 million in research and development funding.
"If you drive out to western North Dakota, the amount of business opportunities and technologies that are being created from research conducted at the EERC is absolutely incredible," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "But it's not just the technologies that are being created, its new jobs as well, which is even more impressive," he said.
The EERC's work in North Dakota involving DOE awards, which total over $132 million, includes a wide variety of topics. Projects include everything from the testing of coal types, power plant emissions, and control devices to the development of advanced combustion processes and CO2 sequestration. Other projects involve solving ash-related problems and promoting environmentally safe, economic uses for coal-combustion by-products; developing mercury control technologies; performing strategic studies on coal-to-liquid fuels; and examining selenium's role in seafood safety.
Groenewold says the federal government is the only entity that awards funding for basic fundamental research and development. "Only 6 percent of EERC contracts are with federal entities, but because the EERC leverages every federal dollar with at least a two-to-one cash match from the private sector, our research has a much deeper impact on job creation," he said.
Among the major EERC programs supported by federal funding are the Cooperative Agreement with DOE, the National Center for Hydrogen Technology (NCHT), and the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership.
The Cooperative Agreement involves hundreds of partners supporting national energy goals and homeland security by advancing sustainable supplies of affordable energy, ensuring clean water supplies, and protecting and restoring the environment. The NCHT Program has more than 70 partners advancing the production, storage, and delivery of hydrogen. The PCOR Partnership, which is a regional collaborative framework for testing and demonstrating CO2 sequestration technologies, has 77 Phase II partners in nine states and four Canadian provinces within the central interior of North America.
In FY08, the EERC was awarded more than $95 million in contracts. Operating like a business within UND, the EERC has had more than 1,000 clients in 50 states and 51 countries since 1987.