asia

The Politics of Energy Efficiency in Japan

Phillip Lipscy, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University

Monday, January 26, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

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BETTER BURNING: China's Attempt at Clean Coal

Shisen Xu, President, Clean Energy Research Institute at China Huaneng Group; moderated by Jeffrey Ball, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University

Monday, October 7, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

China consumes nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined, and is leading the world in greenhouse gas emissions. Now, even as China builds more coal-fired power plants, it is working 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. During this talk, the top technology officer from China’s largest power company will assess the state of cleaner coal-burning technology and its prospects for real-world rollout in China and around the globe. Shisen Xu is President of the Clean Energy Research Institute at China Huaneng Group, one of China’s largest state-owned electric utilities. 

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Renewable Profits at the Base of the Pyramid

 Ted Hesser, Independent Consultant

Monday, September 30, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Poverty and profit tend not to mix. Yet, the alleviation of the former is creating a tremendous opportunity for the latter. Close to one billion people have risen above the poverty line over the past twenty years, entering the global consumer marketplace. The trend is anticipated to continue – potentially liberating the remaining one billion people from poverty over the next two decades. For investors, the implication is the emergence of the largest new market for global goods and services. An estimated three billion people now earn between $2 and $10 a day. Selling basic services to this market through micropayment schemes may enable technology access, development gains, environmental benefits, and profit opportunities that were unimaginable prior to mobile banking. Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar may become the largest opportunity in energy services, and business models positioned at the confluence of declining component costs, rising mobile money usage, and low cost financing are poised for explosive growth over the coming years. Efficient product distribution and working capital financing are the primary impediments to scale. Neither raw demand nor market size is a concern. Rural villagers can save money today and dramatically improve their quality of life as customers of PAYG solar. There are multiple companies successfully selling low cost solar power systems and services to homes and small shops across the developing world through multiple business models. These business models and their execution will determine the spoils of this enormous market opportunity.

 

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China Miniseries (5 of 5): Beijing's Bets—Planning China's Energy Future

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.

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China Miniseries (4 of 5): Market Maker—What China's Clean-Energy Push Means for America

Jeffrey Ball, Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance 

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.

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China Miniseries (3 of 5): Ramping Renewables—China's Boom-Bust Bid to Make Solar Power Big

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

In less than a decade, China has become the world’s largest maker of solar panels. Now China’s solar industry is bleeding — the result of a too-fast expansion, a global recession, and a pullback in government subsidies from Europe, traditionally the world’s largest solar market. China’s furious ramp-up of solar-panel manufacturing has slashed the cost of solar power from the Bay Area to Berlin. Yet it has infuriated politicians in the U.S. and Europe, who contend China is undercutting their domestic solar-panel industries in violation of international trade rules. As the battle rages, some of China’s dominant solar-panel companies are scrambling to stay alive. They’re hunting for new money-making opportunities, including building solar farms in the U.S. In this conversation, top executives from two leading Chinese solar companies survey their industry’s troubles, assess its prospects, and consider the future of solar power around the world.
 
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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

Historically, U.S companies came up with new energy technologies and then hired Chinese firms to manufacture them. Now that relationship is changing. Particularly in Silicon Valley, Chinese investors are starting to bankroll U.S energy innovation. And China is beginning to create more energy technology itself. Helping fuel this new kind of cross-Pacific energy innovation is a novel breed of venture capitalists. They move easily between China and the U.S., writing checks. Sometimes they make money; sometimes they lose it. In this discussion, trans-national executives at two of Beijing’s leading venture-capital firms — firms that have invested in everything from energy efficiency to solar power to electric cars — will detail their role in the increasingly global clean-energy push.
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China Miniseries (1 of 5): Better Burning—China's Attempt at Clean Coal

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.

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It Pays to Do the Right Thing: Incentive Mechanisms for Societal Networks

Balaji Prabhakar, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Stanford University

 

Monday, May 14, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

In many of the challenges faced by the modern world, from overcrowded road networks to overstretched healthcare systems, large benefits for society come about from small changes by very many individuals. Researchers in the societal networks group at Stanford University are running a series of pilot projects aiming to develop principles for inducing small changes in behavior in networks such as transportation, wellness, energy and recycling. Pilots have been conducted with Infosys Technologies in Bangalore on commuting and with Accenture-USA on wellness. Two others are ongoing: public transit congestion in Singapore, and traffic congestion and parking at Stanford.

In this talk, Balaji Prabhakar will describe this work and present results from the pilots. Some salient themes are the use of low-cost sensing and networking technology for sensing individual behavior, and the use of incentives and social norming to influence behavior.

 

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Combining Offshore Wind and Wave Energy Farms to Facilitate Grid Integration of Variable Renewables

Eric Stoutenburg, Ph.D. candidate, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Stanford University

Monday, April 23, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The ocean covers 71% of the Earth's surface. It is abundant in renewable energy resources such as wind, wave, tidal, and gradients of salinity and temperature. With the exception of some offshore wind farms along the northern European coast, this vast reservoir of non-fossil fuel energy is untapped, even though roughly 40% of the world's population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. With continued development of offshore wind power in Europe and initial projects planned for the US east coast, China, and Korea, larger contributions of offshore wind power are on the horizon. Similarly, several wave energy converters are in full scale prototype testing at sea.

Development of both renewable energy sources in co-located sites may improve the electric power performance of a combined wind and wave energy farm. While wave energy is primarily a wind driven phenomenon, at a particular location and time, the energy levels in the wind and waves may be different. Analysis of wind and wave data along the US Pacific coast indicates a synergy where combining the two energy sources in a co-located offshore farm reduces the variability in electric power output. The variability of electric power from renewable energy sources has been identified as a challenge to their large scale integration in the electric grid, but combining variable resources mitigates this problem, producing smoother power output than either resource can separately.

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