LANL and UNM partner up with ‘I-WEST’ initiative

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico is one of six states working to become more eco-friendly by reducing carbon emissions. 

Now, the Los Alamos National Labs and University of New Mexico are using state-of-the-art technology to work toward an energy transition.

A 2022 report from the International Panel of Climate Change shows we are on course to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming within the next two decades. 

If temperatures increase by about 2 degrees by the end of the century, scientists say Earth will experience five times the floods, storms, drought and heat waves.

Concerns over climate change have U.S. leaders calling for swift action to demand carbon-neutral energy.

“I-WEST is a group of six states focusing on energy transition within Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming,” said Kevin John, LANL deputy director for Applied Energy Programs. 

The goal is to scale down national energy-use at the local level. I-WEST released it phase one report.

“The report consists of several chapters focusing on a series of technologies that can help facilitate energy transition away from fossil energy within the region,” said John. 

One piece of new technology is converting Co2 into fuel.

“Taking something that might be viewed as a nuisance commodity in terms of its role in greenhouse, you know gas applications, and turning it into something that’s actually financially viable from a business perspective as a raw material,” John said. “We can capture it, we can transport it, we can store it.”

The next step will be learning how communities will use these energy transition technologies moving forward.

“The focus in terms of community outreach is understanding the societal level of readiness to embrace new technologies to replace you know fossil fuels, and you know fossil electricity,” John said.