Seminar Archive Summaries
Monday, June 3, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
|Derek Ouyang||Rob Best||Felipe Pincheira||Collin Lee|
Start.Home is Stanford's first entry into the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition (http://www.solardecathlon.gov). This biannual competition challenges 20 teams to design and build netzero, solarpowered homes that are judged on 10 different contests, from affordability to engineering.
While modern green homes often boast adaptive systems that reduce energy use behind the
scenes, our philosophy is that technology alone cannot solve the global energy problem. Equally important is awareness of how each of our daily choices affect our environmental footprints. Only through a combination of a passive home and an active mind can we achieve a lifestyle that is truly sustainable.
Stanford Solar Decathlon is a team of committed engineers and entrepreneurs seeking to design
a home that not only excels at the competition, but also has the potential to become an effective
business model in the future. To this end, we are developing a “Start.Home” concept that will provide sustainability at the push of a button to a new generation of environmentally conscious homeowners. The design will emphasize innovation in the constructability of modular architecture and advancements in controls for an intuitive building management core. Every component of the home will be optimized for customizability, affordability, and life cycle value. As a marketable brand, Start.Home will reflect the spirit of Stanford students to challenge preconceived notions of “green” and start a new movement in sustainable living.
Four student leaders from the team will present the unique Start.Home design vision, share their
experiences designing and building the netzero home, and emphasize the importance of projectbased, interdisciplinary learning. After the presentation, the audience is encouraged to join the team on a short 5 minute walk over to the construction site located by Terman Park and tour the Start.Home. For more information, please visit http://solardecathlon.stanford.edu
Zhongying Wang, Deputy Director General, Energy Research Institute, China National Development & Reform Commission
Monday, May 20, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
More than any other country, China sets an energy strategy and then pursues it. The central government writes those plans. To try to feed the energy appetite of China’s 1.35 billion people, Beijing’s energy planners have laid out an all-of-the-above agenda: more coal, more natural gas, more nuclear, more energy efficiency and more renewable power. How their agenda fares will shape political stability in China — and energy markets and the environment around the world. What’s their plan? Does what they write in Beijing really dictate what happens on the ground? What developments do they find most promising? And what roadblocks — technologically, politically, economically — do they see as the biggest threats? In this final session of the China energy series, a top official at the Chinese government’s energy-research arm will offer a frank look ahead at his country’s energy challenges and options.
Monday, May 13, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Clean-energy technologies are growing up. Now, if they’re going to become a significant part of the global energy mix, the world’s approach to them will have to grow up too. That will require a less emotional, more rational understanding of the changing relationship between China and the U.S. in the global clean-energy race. The two countries have sharply different agendas in this competition, yet each needs the other if it’s to achieve its own goals. The surest sign of that dependence comes in following the money: Clean-energy investment is ramping up in both directions across the Pacific. Yet this relationship is prompting increasing unease and debate. In this session, a longtime writer about energy and the environment explores how China’s clean-energy push is affecting American industry and consumers — and how America, moving forward, might play most effectively to its own clean-energy strengths.
Terry Wang, CFO of Trina Solar
Peter Xie, CEO, GCL Solar Energy
Monday, May 6, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Tony Barnosky, Visiting Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Monday, April 29, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Humans have fundamentally changed how energy flows through the global ecosystem, with consequences for ourselves and for other species. The consequence for ourselves is that we are locked into having to produce enormous amounts of energy if we want to sustain the current human population, leave alone keeping up with the increase in population projected over the next three decades. The consequence for other species is that how we produce our needed energy will largely determine whether biodiversity can be sustained at present levels, or whether the sixth mass extinction will be unavoidable. Avoiding substantial loss of biodiversity will require holding the amount of “natural” energy we co-opt from other species (that is, energy produced from photosynthesis and measured as net primary productivity) at present values, and shifting energy-production away from fossil fuels fast enough to avoid the most ecologically-damaging effects of global climate disruption.
China Miniseries (2 of 5): Clean Capital-Investing in Energy Innovation on Both Sides of the Pacific
Sonny Wu, Managing Partner, GSR Ventures
Ian Zhu, General Partner, Tsing Capital
Monday, April 22, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
David Mohler, Senior Vice President, CTO, Duke Energy
Monday, April 15, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
China makes roughly 80% of its electricity by burning coal. That helps explain why Beijing’s skies darkened earlier this year in what some observers dubbed the “airpocalypse.” It also explains why China has become the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Now, even as China builds more coal-fired power plants than any other country, it’s scrambling to roll out technologies to burn that coal more cleanly — from anti-smog filters to systems to capture carbon dioxide and shoot it underground.
China has launched the world’s largest “clean coal” experiment. In this conversation, the top technology officers from China’s largest power company and from a U.S power company that's investing in that Chinese work will assess the state of cleaner coal-burning technology and its prospects for real-world rollout in China and around the globe.
Charles Kolstad, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University
Monday, April 8, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
The threat of climate change has profound implications for the evolution of the world’s energy system over the coming decades. More than many environmental problems, uncertainty is a central characteristic of the problem – uncertainty regarding the physical science of climate but also uncertainty regarding the impacts, technologies (for mitigation, adaptation and geoengineering), costs, and human preferences.
The problem is larger than simple uncertainty. Some uncertainty is objective and fits into a probabilistic paradigm; other uncertainty is much more vague, with unknown probabilities (such as the likelihood of inventing a cheap way of storing electricity by 2020). Furthermore, uncertainty changes over time, either simply by acquiring more experience or through proactive measures to increase knowledge (eg, R&D). And further, some uncertainty is managed automatically by individuals and organizations seeking to reduce risk exposure (eg, with flood insurance). The bottom line is how to manage the risks of climate change in this complex and evolving environment? Insurance, financial markets, individual action and public policy can and should work in tandem to deal with this uncertainty. This talk provides a perspective on managing risk associated with climate change.
Eric Redman, President & CEO, Summit Power Group, LLC
Monday, April 1, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) on a large scale is regarded by many climate scientists as one indispensable element of any global carbon-reduction strategy. It is axiomatic that there can be no large-scale CCS project without a ‘sink’ for the carbon. The excellent work already performed on various geological sinks demonstrates that several different types of sink appear well-suited to large-scale sequestration. However, it is equally true that large-scale carbon sequestration also requires large-scale carbon capture projects. Very few exist, and almost none in the electric power sector, which is a leading source of global carbon emissions.
Seattle-based Summit Power Group is attempting to change this by developing several very large scale CCS projects in the electric power sector, both in the US (e.g., the Texas Clean Energy Project, which will capture and sequester 2.5 million tons of CO2 per year) and the UK (e.g., the Captain Clean Energy Project, which will capture and sequester more than 4 million tons of CO2 per year). Eric Redman is the president and chief executive officer of Summit, and will discuss the technical, commercial, financial, permitting, and public policy challenges of trying to be a ‘first mover’ on commercial-scale CCS projects in the power sector.
Monday, March 11, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Maxim Kelman and Jacob Woodruff are relatively recent Stanford graduates in physical science and engineering who have worked successfully in solar energy-related start-ups. Kelman and Woodruff will describe the evolution of their careers to date, lessons learned about the start-up world and how it differs from academic and larger corporate workplaces. This will include the implementation of research findings into pilot and manufacturing lines with accelerated development timelines, and what it is like to work in the early stages versus later stages after reorganization and introduction of new management. Personality traits that may be useful among start-up employees will also be discussed.