Baker Institute for Energy Studies
This center provides new insights on the role of economics, policy and regulation in the performance and evolution of energy markets. Independently and through collaborations with other Baker Institute programs and fellows, Rice University faculty, and scholars from around the world, the Center for Energy Studies builds on the foundation of the institute's globally respected energy program. Economic modeling and forecasting; expanded emphasis on the nexus between energy and environment; and a continued focus on emerging technologies, regulations, and geopolitical risk reinforce the center as a key resource for policymakers and the energy industry.
The mission of the Energy Forum is: (1) to promote the development of informed and realistic public policy choices in the energy sector by educating policymakers and the public about important trends - both regional and global - that shape the nature of global energy markets; and (2) to influence the quantity and security of vital supplies needed to fuel world economic growth and prosperity. Rather than focus exclusively on either the theory or practice of energy policy, Energy Forum research synthesizes both by drawing together experts from academia, the energy industry, government, the media and nongovernmental organizations. To develop its energy policy analysis and recommendations, the Energy Forum draws on Rice University's interdisciplinary expertise in environmental engineering, energy sustainability, economics, political science, geology, nanotechnology, architecture, sociology, anthropology and religious studies.
Center for Environmental Studies
This center - formerly CENHS - was the only research center in the world at the time of its founding in 2013 specifically designed to foster and incubate research on the energy/environment nexus across the arts, humanities and social sciences. The center is a collective faculty-led project, formed initially to help pioneer the field of interdisciplinary energy humanities (with support from Rice's Humanities Research Center and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation). In 2019, the center was rebranded to highlight its strong connection to Rice’s environmental studies program.
The Green Carbon Center supports research and outreach activities that improve energy efficiency, the collection of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon fuel, the development of diverse new carbon-based fuel sources of biological origin, and the reduction of the environmental impacts from carbon fuel consumption.
Kinder Institute for Urban Research
The mission of Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research is to conduct scientific research, sponsor educational programs, and engage in public outreach that advances understanding of pressing urban issues and fosters the development of more humane and sustainable cities. Its goal is to become a magnet for talent, a catalyst for civic engagement, and a nationally recognized leader in conducting first-rate research and in translating its findings into a valued resource that informs and inspires the community on which the research is based.
Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT)
A joint effort by Rice University, Arizona State University, University of Texas at El Paso and Yale University, NEWT is the first national center to develop next-generation water treatment systems enabled by nanotechnology. The center's research will have a direct impact on a fundamental necessity for life - water, which is also a critical resource for economic and social development, and intricately connected to energy production. Through its fundamental and transformative research as well as innovative educational programs, NEWT will also educate the next-generation workforce to be creative, versatile leaders in the burgeoning industry of sustainable technologies for water treatment.
Rice Biochar Group is applying a very promising carbon sequestration technique to the problem of greenhouse gas management in Texas. They are amending soils with charcoal, which increases soil fertility, improves soil drainage, and helps manage nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient pollution. Adding charcoal to soils also sequesters carbon when this charcoal is made from biomass that would otherwise rapidly decompose to CO2.
Rice Energy and Environment Initiative
The Rice Energy and Environment Initiative engages expertise from multiple research disciplines, along with industry leaders and government agencies, NGOs and the public to develop safer, more affordable and environmentally sustainable carbon-based fuels.