Seminar Archive Summaries
Emily Wimberger, Chief Economist, California Air Resources Board, Carbon Pricing mini-series three of three
Monday, May 18, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Emily Wimberger is the Chief Economist at the California Air Resources Board. In her role, Emily advises the Executive Office and Chairman on economic issues and leads a team of economists working to support ARB’s economic analyses. At ARB, Emily also has experience analyzing the market for Cap-and-Trade allowances and related energy, fuel, and carbon markets, implements the Cap-and-Trade Regulation.
Frank Wolak, Director, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Professor, Economics
Monday, May 11, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Thus far the United States has been the major beneficiary of shale gas. The rest of the world also has substantial shale gas resources, but there is significant uncertainty whether and how rapidly these resources will be developed. Lower natural gas prices in the United States (US) have significantly reduced US coal use. However, higher natural gas prices in Europe and Asia have led to increased coal use in these regions. Coal is already the major source of energy (as measured by heat content) to the developing world. Current trends suggest that it will soon surpass oil as the major source of heat energy globally. The spread of shale gas technology to other parts of the world will allow these regions to access cheap natural gas and reduce their coal use. However, there are significant legal and regulatory barriers as well as technological barriers to this shale gas development spreading to the rest of the world. This talk will discuss possible futures for the global natural gas and coal markets and the greenhouse gas implications of these futures.
Bill Mitchel, Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft
Monday, May 4, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
As Senior Director for Microsoft’s World Wide Public Sector team, Bill Mitchel leads the company’s government business development to drive energy, transportation and sustainability solutions.
Randi Walters, PhD Candidate, Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University
Rall Walsh, PhD Candidate, Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University
Monday, April 27, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Since 2009, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of small-to-moderate size earthquakes in the central and eastern United States with a significant amount occurring in Oklahoma. In a number of cases, the increase in seismicity appears to be associated with injection of saltwater that is a byproduct of oil and gas production. We present some recent instances of seismicity and offer a framework for assessing the risk of triggered seismicity going forward. This adds several factors to standard earthquake hazard and risk assessment procedures. The workflow includes a site characterization component to determine the hazard in the area, followed by the utilization of risk tolerance matrices for regulators, operators, stakeholders, and the public to consider in areas of various exposure. The hazard and risk assessment workflow also includes the use of a traffic light system that incorporates geologic and geophysical observations as well as earthquake magnitudes or ground motions, as criteria for whether a particular set of events warrant a response.
Shanhui Fan, Professor, Electrical Engineering, Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University
Monday, April 20, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Nanophotonic structures provide new opportunities to control both the near and far field of thermal electromagnetic fields. Exploiting these opportunities can lead to significant novel energy device and system applications. In this talk, we review some of our recent theoretical and experimental efforts towards developing some of these nanophotonic structures. Specifically, we show that combining near and far field effect results in a thermal extractions scheme, where the total thermal emission of a macroscopic thermal emitter can exceed the apparent blackbody limit of the emitter. We also show that nanophotonic structures can be applied to demonstrate radiative cooling under direct sunlight. Finally, we explore the new thermal physics as enabled by the use of non-reciprocal thermal emitters, where maximum violation of detailed balance between absorption and emission becomes possible.
Mar Reguant, Assistant Professor, Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Monday, April 13, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Integrating large quantities of wind and solar energy is often considered a challenge due to the intermittent nature of renewable generation. I present evidence on the costs and benefits of renewable power based on data from the Iberian Electricity market, which as of 2012 produces over 20% of its electricity from wind power, and about 5% of its electricity with solar power. I examine the challenges of wind and solar integration from an empirical perspective, and quantify the relative impacts of uncertainty and volatility on realized electricity costs. I also show how market incentives can distort optimal planning, by examining wind farm behavior in centralized electricity auctions. Allowing wind farms to participate in centralized markets can increase competition and decrease procurement costs, but it might increase inefficiencies in the market.
Natural Gas Resources, Natural Gas Utilization and Potential Climate/Pollution Benefits, Natural Gas mini-series one of three
Anthony Kovscek, Professor, Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University
Arun Majumdar, Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor, Stanford University
Monday, April 6, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Advances in natural gas production are changing the energy landscape of the United States and, potentially, the world. Stanford launched the Natural Gas Initiative (NGI) to “engage faculty across the university to carry out the many types of research needed to ensure that natural gas is developed and used in ways that are economically, environmentally, and societally optimal.” Recently, the NGI paneled industry, NGO, academic leaders, and students to consider resource development, uses of natural gas, and environmental impacts. A major point of discussion was the need to develop a balance between environmental compliance, minimization of impacts, and the pressure to develop natural gas resources. In this seminar, we provide a summary and perspectives from these areas of discussion.
Robyn Beavers, Senior Vice President, Founder of Station A Group at NRG Energy
Monday, March 30, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Graduating from Stanford opened the door to a world of possibilities for me. Crossing the threshold involved five jobs, an abandoned power plant and building a team to help me do what I couldn’t do alone. Now Station A is getting started on upending a 100-year old industry. In addition to developing new technologies and creating far-reaching partnerships, we are infusing an archaic industry with innovative thinking and a passion for design. The site includes a stunning show house, offering a window into a world of sustainable living and a kick-ass mural by rock star artist Zio Ziegler. I’m thrilled to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way and a few of the things that we are doing at Station A to change our relationship with energy and resources.
Fireside chat with Tom Steyer and Sally Benson
Tom Steyer, Investor, Philanthropist and Advanced Energy Advocate
Monday, March 9, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Tom Steyer is a California business leader, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate. Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded and was the Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management.
Tom is actively engaged in climate politics through his NextGen Climate political organization, and works to promote economic development and environmental protection in California and across the country. In 2010, Tom teamed up with former Secretary of State George Shultz to defeat Proposition 23, an effort by out-of-state oil companies to dismantle California’s groundbreaking clean energy law, AB 32. In 2012, Tom served as co-chair with Shultz for Yes on Proposition 39, which closed a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and created jobs in California.
Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes. Tom and Kat created and funded the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank and Foundation, which provides loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities and individuals in California and along the west coast. Tom and Kat have four children.Related Themes:
Thomas Jaramillo, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Michael McGehee, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
David Lobell, Associate Professor of Environmental Earth System Science
Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Moderated by Stacey F. Bent, Director of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
Monday, March 2, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
TomKat Center Seed Grant Research
With the occurrence of extreme weather events increasing and the effects of climate change impacting our food and water resources, the imperative to transform our energy system is self-evident. The TomKat Center Seed Grants fund research from across Stanford University that has the potential to contribute to a sustainable energy system. Results of four of their large-scale solar projects will be presented.