Seminar Archive Summaries
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
co-sponsored by Woods Institute for the Environment, Precourt Institute for Energy, and Global Climate and Energy Project
With 104 operating nuclear plants in the United States, and dozens more on the drawing boards, who is protecting the public and the environment? Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko will discuss the simultaneous challenges of overseeing the existing fleet of reactors, managing in parallel multiple reactor design certification requests and multiple plant construction license requests, and overseeing the safety of and licensing an expansion of the nuclear fuel industry to support new plants, not to mention the storage of spent fuel.
Joe Paluska, Vice President of Communications, Better Place
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
In the last two years, the world has seen an unprecedented momentum toward electric vehicles. Leadership by governments committed to electrification, together with the right economics and policy, is catalyzing a race in the global automotive industry toward electrification. While primary motivations for countries leading on electrification differ form oil dependence to developing globally dominant automotive industries to zero-emission transportation and integration of renewable generation, the answer is the same. Electrification enables all of these benefits, if it is done at scale. Yet even as China, Europe and other markets surge forward with electric vehicles, the US lags behind. This session will explore the global momentum for electrification, the barriers and opportunities to mass adoption of electric vehicles, and the lessons for the US on the economics and policy of EV’s.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Prof. Burton Richter’s book, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors, is now available. It is written for the non-expert and goes over climate change (what we know, how we know it, uncertainties), energy options (supply, emissions, potential), and policy options (sensible, senseless, and self-serving). Nuclear energy is one of the options discussed and that will be the main focus of this seminar.
Nuclear energy as a source of electricity is growing worldwide. In Europe, even Germany is reconsidering its commitment to shut down its nuclear plants soon. Other countries like Italy, which abandoned its nuclear energy program after the Chernobyl accident, are returning to nuclear power as a way to meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets. In Asia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea are undergoing a major nuclear energy expansion, some because of the need for more secure energy supplies, others for reasons similar to Europe’s. Opponents of nuclear energy cite four issues: cost, radiation and accident potential, waste disposal, and risk of more proliferation of weapons. All of these issues will be reviewed.
Please join us for a book signing and reception following the talk.
Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Most stakeholders agree that solar energy can provide a significant percentage of U.S. electrical needs over the coming decades. National public support of solar energy projects, and large scale solar projects, is strong. Despite the support and excitement, the first of the newly proposed, and fast-tracked, large scale solar projects are facing significant hurdles. Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment recently hosted a two-day forum in which industry, NGOs, policy makers and scientists discussed these challenges and brainstormed ideas to meet them. Margot Gerritsen, who led the forum, will discuss the outcomes of this fascinating forum. Questions addressed in her talk include: Why is there broad excitement about large scale solar? What are fast track projects, and why are they facing high hurdles? What do tortoises have to do with large scale solar projects? How can we make large scale solar work, and what role can Stanford play?
Thomas Jaramillo, Stanford University
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Solar energy is an attractive option that could potentially provide our energy needs in sustainable fashion, but a number of major scientific challenges stand in the way of developing cost-effective methods to capture and store solar energy at the terrestrial scale. One means to store this energy is in the form of fuels, i.e. using solar energy to drive redox reactions such as splitting water into H2 and O2 or the conversion of atmospheric CO2 to alcohols and hydrocarbons. This talk will focus on the development of the three key components needed to synthesize liquid and gaseous fuels from sunlight: (1) semiconductors with appropriate electronic band structure for solar photon absorption and for sufficient photovoltage to drive redox reactions, (2) water oxidation catalysis to provide the protons and electrons needed for the fuel synthesis reduction reactions, and (3) electro-reduction catalysis for the evolution of hydrogen and/or the reduction of CO2 to liquid fuels. The exploitation of nano-scale effects will be discussed as a means to tailor material surface and bulk properties to fit these needs.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Consumer Response to Plug-in Electric Vehicles
We are in historic times for the auto industry, along many dimensions, from the expanding of car ownership in developing nations, to the peaking of oil, and to the challenges of climate change. In the past, automobile products have changed slowly compared to other “tech” markets. Today, most automobiles are in many basic ways much like vehicles of the past few decades. A few clean and efficient vehicles are having successes in the market and bigger technological changes seem to loom ahead; in particular, in the next few years, automobile makers will attempt to commercialize electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles around the world. Are these products that only a few engineers, enthusiasts and devoted environmentalists want or are these products that will transform the auto industry, embraced by the wide consumer market? For 20 years, researchers at UC Davis have been probing this question, surveying and interviewing car owners about their fuel use, actual or potential use of green cars, alternative fuels, want for small urban or neighborhood cars and electric drive vehicles in particular. UCD researchers have studied consumer response to the basic practical issues, such as purchase costs, operating costs, the constraints of vehicle range, the use of charging stations as well as more cultural arenas such as the development of new symbols, values, the role of information in car owner’s social networks, environmental concepts, efficient driving practices, and the use of energy feedback instruments. Dr. Turrentine reviews the relevant lessons he and his research team at UC Davis have learned in the past 20 years about the electrification of transportation and shares recent findings from his work with BMW in the MINI E program and from the 70 Northern California Automobile Association households who have participated in the PH&EV center PRIUS PHEV conversion program.
Part 2 of a 4 part mini-series on electric vehicles
Showcase of electric and fuel cell vehicles. During the Showcase from 4:15 to 5:45, groups will rotate through stations to hear from each vehicle representative. Please arrive on time. At 5:45 a reception will begin adjacent to the cars, in the parking structure. Vehicles provided by:
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:45 PM | | Free and Open to All
Please Note: LOCATION CHANGE
The location for the Energy Seminar will move this week to the lower level of Parking Structure 2, corner of Via Ortega and Panama Ave. The street address of the Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building is 473 Via Ortega and the parking structure is just across the street. To access a searchable map and directions to campus, please refer to Campus Maps on the Stanford website.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Electrification of transportation has been in the making for over 100 years. Clearly, today, there is a high degree of interest in the three E's - environment, economy, and energy. At Ford we want to make sure we are doing our part. The biggest impact we can make is ensuring the vehicles we produce are delivering the best possible value to our customers including not only their quality, safety, reliability and features, functions and connectivity, but also ensuring that their energy efficiency is best in class and reason to buy. On this last point, keys for success are vehicle and fuel delivery technologies with the capability and costs to meet customer needs affordably while at the same time delivering a sustainable business for all involved in the value chain. At Ford Motor Company, we view electrified transportation as including full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full battery electric vehicles - vehicles that directly displace oil with use of electricity and can be propelled for some distance and usable speed down the road entirely in electric drive mode. This session shall explore Ford's approach to making electrification a growing and sustainable part of the vehicle fleet including the technologies, challenges, and enablers.
Paul De Martini, Vice President of Advanced Technology, Southern California Edison
Jim Detmers, Vice President of Operations, CA Independent Systems (CAISO)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
During the Energy Seminar’s 4-part series on the future of the Grid we have explored what the “Smart Grid” is, a case study integrating more than 50% wind on the grid, issues and solutions for extending the grid, and with this talk we will examine the requirements for integration of utility-scale renewable energy. Paul De Martini, Vice President of Advanced Technology at Southern California Edison, and Jim Detmers, Vice President of Operations at California Independent Systems Operator, will speak from a utility and grid operator’s perspective about operations today and opportunities in the future as we move into an age of renewable energy and distributed generation.
California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is one of the most ambitious standards in the country, and they will discuss how smart grid technologies would contribute to make the 2020 targets realistic. They will examine the business case for smart grid investments and strategies for implementing smart meter demand-side management and incentives for consumer’s households. Additionally they will address the added complexities of managing our electricity distribution system while integrating renewables, meeting peak demands, and possibly responding to increased electricity demand for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
How will smart grid technologies contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Is the electric utilities sector in California structured properly to move into the age of renewable energy and distributed generation? How would you define a successful rollout of smart grid technologies? The speakers will address these questions as well during their discussion.
Reyad Fezzani, Chief Executive Officer, BP Solar
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Reyad Fezzani is CEO of BP Solar, a pioneering, global solar energy company of BP. Reyad has lived and worked in many parts of the world from which he has developed a deep knowledge and understanding of global business and economics. He will speak from first-hand experience about the peaceful rise of Chinese capitalism, including its recent and growing influence in the solar energy industry.