Future Seminar Summaries

Resource Revolution: A Tenfold Increase in Productivity

Stefan Heck, consulting professor, Precourt Institute for Energy

Monday, October 27, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The prophets of doom are wrong. They believe the rapid rise over the next two decades of a new 2.5-billion-person urban middle class—and the unprecedented demand this growth will generate for oil, gas, steel, land, food, water, cement, clean air, and other commodities—must inevitably spur a global economic and environmental crisis. This talk takes that challenge seriously—but comes to exactly the opposite conclusion.

Instead, I will make the case that we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, the Resource Revolution, and that that same order of magnitude change we saw in labor productivity is possible for resources. We can meet soaring demand in a sustainable way by transforming how companies and societies prosper represents nothing less than the biggest business opportunity in one hundred years. The combination of information technology, nanoscale materials, and biotech with traditional industrial technology can unleash a step-change in resource productivity and generate enormous new profit pools. However, capturing these business opportunities—and avoiding the disruption they bring—will require an entirely new approach to management.

Related Themes:

Modeling Post 2020 Global Climate Change Policies (Confessions of an Integrated Assessment Modeler)

Max Tavoni, fellow, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), associate professor, Politecnico di Milano

Monday, November 3, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Implementing measures which allows us to start reducing global emissions is an important objective of international climate policy. Against the limited progress being observed so far, there are rising expectations about a post 2020 climate agreement - to be agreed upon in the Paris UNFCCC meeting in 2015. This talk will summarize the state of knowledge of the modeling work on global climate and energy policies. Reporting from the literature of energy-economy-land use integrated models -which provided major input to the IPCC 5th assessment report WGIII- I will assess the relation between short term mitigation actions and long term temperature objectives, the impacts of climate measures in the major economies, the difficult relation between efficiency and equity, and the role of abundant natural gas for climate change.

 

 

Related Themes:

Renewable Realities: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Renewable Energy's Rise

Dan Arvizu, director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Moderated by Jeffrey Ball, scholar-in-residence, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance

Monday, November 10, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Brief Bio:

Dan E. Arvizu became the eighth Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on January 15, 2005. NREL is the Department of Energy's primary laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Alliance). Dr. Arvizu is President of Alliance and also is an Executive Vice President with the MRIGlobal, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Arvizu was the chief technology officer with CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. Before joining CH2M he was an executive with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He started his career and spent four years at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories. In 2011, Dr. Arvizu was appointed by President Obama to a second six-year term on the National Science Board, the governing board of the National Science Foundation and the national science policy advisory body to the President and the Congress. He is presently serving as Chairman. Dr. Arvizu serves on a number of boards, panels and advisory committees including the American Council on Renewable Energy Advisory Board, the Singapore International Advisory Panel on Energy, the Colorado Renewable Energy Authority Board of Directors, and the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy Advisory Council. He is Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He has a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Jeffrey Ball, a writer on energy and the environment, is scholar-in-residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. At Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center, a joint initiative of the university’s law and business schools, Ball heads a project exploring how China and the U.S. might deploy clean-energy capital more efficiently if each one played more strategically to its economic strengths. The project focuses on the solar-energy industry, the subject of a law-school public-policy practicum that Ball has co-taught. In 2013, he conceived of and moderated a five-part series of public discussions at Stanford, called Rising Power, on China’s energy business and its global implications.