Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Economics

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Geography and Geology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

It is evident that Kentucky's energy landscape is characterized primarily by coal and, to a lesser degree, natural gas and oil. It seems there's almost no room for renewable energy sources in Kentucky’s energy sector despite plentiful evidence of global climate change caused largely by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. Other states are paving the way in the renewable energy industry by investing in solar, wind and geothermal energy among other forms while Kentucky continues to sit back seemingly content with utilizing energy practices that are several decades old. In this project, I will be addressing reasons for the slow adoption of renewable resources in the state and discussing potential methods for development in this area. Questions I will attempt to answer include: what causes this lag in innovation and growth? Is it the geography, culture, government, or maybe a combination of all three? Is it a lack of motivated scientists and businessmen that could progress the field of renewable energy in state? Is it a lost cause or is there something that regular people can do about it? By investigating some of these difficult questions, I hope to generate some ideas for jumpstarting a green revolution in the bluegrass state.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Stephen Locke

Disciplines

Mining Engineering

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