Tough, timely and team-driven: 50 years of energy research

Written by
Molly Seltzer
Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Aug. 21, 2020

Since the mid-20th century, researchers at Princeton University have been at the forefront of understanding the world’s energy problems and developing pathbreaking solutions.

From performing critical studies that help to uncover the full impact of our energy usage to developing innovative green technologies, Princeton scientists have been unrelenting in their quest to find new methods that can lead the world toward a clean, sustainable energy future.

This legacy dates to the 1950s, when Princeton astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer proposed a way to produce controlled fusion on Earth.

Realizing that fusion could become an inexhaustible energy source, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission greenlighted the project, which later became the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

By the late 1960s, as global energy and environmental crises came to the fore, Princeton established the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies (CEES) to respond to national issues and provide meaningful, timely research that influenced energy conservation policy.

Today researchers in Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment investigate a broad range of energy issues and environmental problems, providing critical data and developing policy and technology that provide for the world’s growing energy demands while protecting our environment.

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