Humboldt State University

Schatz Energy Research Center

About the Schatz Energy Research Center

SERC Engineers work on a fuel cell test station

At the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) on California’s North Coast, we are working to establish clean energy technologies in our society. We specialize in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and hydrogen energy systems. Our work involves research and development, technology demonstration, project development, energy systems analysis, and education and training. In addition, we perform feasibility studies, resource assessments, and energy planning studies.

We are affiliated with Humboldt State University’s Environmental Resources Engineering program and provide a rare opportunity for undergraduate and graduate engineering students to acquire hands-on experience with emerging energy technologies.

SERC was established in 1989, thanks to generous funding from Dr. Louis W. Schatz, then president of General Plastics Manufacturing Company of Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Schatz had a lifelong passion for innovation, and the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier and fuel was one of his main interests. For more about the origins of SERC, see our history page.

Our Mission

Americans are accustomed to low priced and abundant energy supplies. This has led us to be profligate in our energy use and careless about our energy future. Climate change, dirty urban air, land and sea ruined by mining and drilling for energy, and dependence on oil from politically unstable foreign countries are only a few of the many consequences of our energy policies and choices. Is there a better way?

At the Schatz Energy Research Center, we know there is. Just as our ancestors changed the way they obtained food, we must change the way we get energy, evolving from the energy hunter-gatherers we are now to the energy farmers we must become. This evolution means shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources: solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower — and using energy more efficiently regardless of the source. Our mission is to develop renewable energy technology and make it more reliable and affordable.

All of us have the same dreams: a clean and safe environment, political independence, economic security, and a better world for our children. Clean and safe energy will help make our dreams become reality.