The need for energy affects almost every aspect of modern society. Indeed, the advent of coal as a widely-used energy source is sometimes viewed as the spark that started the Industrial Revolution. However, we are about to enter a new era due to increased competition from developing nations for the world's dwindling energy supplies and to the growing recognition that our current energy usage is unsustainable and is affecting the world's climate. It is apparent that research on energy-related issues will become increasingly important in the coming years. Penn needs to take advantage of these opportunities in order to remain at the forefront of research. Currently, the major focuses at Penn are solar energy and fuel cells, with additional strengths in hydrogen storage and advanced structural materials. Interest groups meet to exchange ideas, seek mutual interests and establish responses to government calls for new proposals. Other activities include: (1) serving as a clearing house for educational initiatives at all levels; (2) cooperating with the Ben Franklin Technical Partnership to strengthen industrial outreach, development of intellectual property and technology transfer; and (3) presenting public topical summaries as mini-symposia.