behavior

U.S. Fuel Economy Standards: Economics and Efficiency

Mark Jacobsen, professor, University of California, San Diego, research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Monday, November 17, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards place requirements on the efficiency of new vehicles sold and are a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to reduce gasoline use. They are currently slated for a sharp increase in stringency, nearly doubling the average fuel economy of new vehicles by 2025. I will present results from a set of three projects examining the economics behind these rules: First, I measure the overall costs of CAFE policy using detailed data on demand for new vehicles and a model of producer behavior. Second, I address the intertwined questions of vehicle size and accident safety in the context of CAFE. Finally, I will present results from a current working paper that measures the effects of CAFE on used vehicle scrappage.

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Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked?

Michael Sivak, research professor, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Monday, October 20, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | | Free and Open to All

I will discuss two series of studies related to the possible peaking of motorization in the U.S. In the first series of studies, I examined recent changes in the number of registered light-duty vehicles, and the corresponding changes in distance driven and fuel consumed. The units of the analyses were both the absolute numbers and the rates per person, per driver, and per household.

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Energy Data: Big Decisions, Miniseries Part 3 of 3 | Which Problems to Solve, What Data to Use?

Dr. Carrie Armel, Research Associate, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) at Stanford University

Ian Kalin, Director of Open Data, Socrata

Adam Rein, Principal, Mission Point Capital Partners

Monday, November 11, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Carrie Armel Adam Rein Ian Kalin

What energy challenges are best served with data, and what data sets are available for these applications? Adam Rein of Mission Point Capital will outline the most promising opportunities from a VC’s perspective. Ian Kalin, Director of Open Data at Socrata and a former White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, will survey this administration’s mission to jump start data sharing initiatives and compile data sets. Carrie Armel will provide examples of the diverse ways in which Stanford’s ARPA-E funded initiative has utilized energy data, such as that from smart meters, to reduce energy consumption. Following the panel will be an opportunity to engage the speakers and other knowledgeable professionals in lively discussion and brainstorming.

 

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Energy Data: Big Decisions, Miniseries Part 2 of 3: Creating an Energy Efficient Future Through Data Driven Decision Making

Philip Farese, Vice President of Engineering, Advantix Systems

Monday, October 28, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of measures one can take to reduce energy use of any given piece of machinery, building, city, state, or nation.  Trying to decide which to implement proves a challenge in the face of limited information, technology and implementation risks, competing priorities, and rudimentary decision making tools. By including economics, potential energy savings, and adoption dynamics one can help disentangle this milieu to provide objective facts.  We discuss multiple methods for decision making by highlighting a tool recently developed to inform Department of Energy decision making.  This tool revealed that a 30% energy savings reduction goal is both realistic and adds economic value to the country.  Additionally it surfaced the true potential of engineering and development to reduce national energy use by as much as 80%.  We conclude by briefly reviewing the most promising technologies and highlighting the potential of one of these: liquid desiccant air conditioning.

 

 

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Panel, Ethics in an Energy Crisis: What Should We Do When Current Needs Conflict with Long-Term Sustainability?

Mark Bryant Budolfson, Blake Francis, Hyunseop Kim, Stanford University

Introduction by Debra Satz, Professor of Ethics in Society, Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities and Arts

Monday, October 21, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Mark Budolfson Blake Francis Hyunseop Kim Debra Satz

Ethics are important. The economic divide between the developed and developing world highlights the ethical dimensions of energy access in a climate-constrained world. Is it fair to hinder economic growth in developing countries because the wealthiest nations have changed the composition of the atmosphere and changed the climate of the planet? To what extent do the developed nations bear responsibility for not only remedying the problem, but also for compensating those people who are now suffering because of climate climate, or who could face tight emissions restrictions? As the economic balance of the world changes, what role should rapidly developing nations share in the responsibility to address these issues?

Here, we examine these issues through the lens of one country, Pakistan, which is struggling with a severe energy crisis that is holding back economic development and exacerbating political instability. Ethicists, economists, and others have developed a set of useful tools for deciding what to do when economic, environmental, and social values conflict. We will explain how some of these tools–including cost benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, and principles of justice–can help us evaluate aspects of the recent energy crisis in Pakistan, in which many competing values are at play. After months of rolling blackouts and documented impacts to economic growth, the Pakistani government decided to meet the current needs of their citizens by investing in coal and other fossil fuel technologies, rather than alternative sources of energy that many would argue are superior from the perspective of long-run sustainability. We use this example to illustrate how different general ethical theories use the tools we discuss to recommend different courses of action. One upshot is that ethics has many sophisticated tools but also involves many important unresolved questions–about how to make tradeoffs between different values, how to respond to risk and uncertainty, and so on. Another upshot is that ethics alone cannot settle what should be done in such complex situations–collaboration is also needed with those who have technical, political, and economic expertise. However, ethics can help clarify our reasoning, make our assumptions about values more explicit, and expose our values to critical scrutiny. In sum, we demonstrate the valuable role ethics can play when making decisions in the face of social and environmental challenges.

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Energy Data: Big Decisions, Miniseries Part 1 of 3 | Energy: Harder than Evolution

 Saul Griffith, Founder/Principal Scientist, Otherlab

Monday, October 14, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

This miniseries will explore the ways in which data can guide decision making in energy research, policy, business, and the personal sphere – from determining which problems and products should be pursued to achieve the biggest bang for the buck, to employing it to shift individual and household energy choices.

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Unlocking the Benefits of Active Customer Participation in Wholesale Electricity Markets

Frank Wolak, the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University

Monday, May 21, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Because electricity is a necessary input to so many economic activities, there are significant political obstacles to charging business and residential customers retail prices that reflect the hourly wholesale price of electricity. A long history of retail electricity prices that do not vary with real-time system conditions makes this task even more difficult. Finally, the lack of interval meters on the customer’s premises makes it impossible to determine precisely how much energy each customer withdraws in a given hour.

Recently a number of jurisdictions in the U.S. have installed the interval meters necessary for customers to participate actively in the wholesale market. This talk will summarize the results of a number of research projects at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development for allowing electricity consumers to benefit from active participation in wholesale electricity markets. The results of dynamic pricing and information provision experiments will be summarized, and current and future directions for research at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development will be described.  Necessary changes in state-level regulatory policies that can also unlock the economic benefits of modern technologies for active participation of final consumers will also be discussed.

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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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Connecting the Dots: The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus

Monday, April 16, 2012 | 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM | McCaw Hall, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center |

We have a special Stanford program today and encourage our Energy Seminar community to attend. Registration is required. If you are not a student enrolled in the Energy Seminar and wish to attend the Connecting the Dots program on April 16, please register at connectingthedots.stanford.edu. Additional information is available at the Connecting The Dots website.
 
Please note this event is being held in a different venue then most Energy Seminars.
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Car Sharing and Pooling: Reducing Car Over-Population and Collaborative Consumption

John Atcheson, Vice President, Getaround

Logan Green, CEO & Co-founder, Zimride

Monday, April 9, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All


John Atcheson

 


Logan Green

In the United States alone, there are more than 250 million cars and light trucks, and these vehicles sit idle an average of 92% of the time.  With the average car costing more than $6,500 per year just to own, (i.e., not including gas and other operating expenses), this represents over $1.5 trillion dollars each year in wasted capital.  Peer-to-peer car sharing puts this capital to use, as John Atcheson will discuss, giving car owners the opportunity to earn thousands of dollars per year off their idle asset, and providing drivers with a viable alternative to car ownership.  In the process, peer-to-peer car sharing dramatically helps our environment. Studies have shown that the average shared car replaces 9-13 other cars, and that drivers who switch from driving their own car to driving a shared car reduce both vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40%. This presentation will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing peer-to-peer car sharing, and offer a vision for a world in which every car is shared.
 
People are in the beginning of a dramatic transformation that is changing the way we think about personal transportation. In this new age, access trumps ownership. Access to a network that gets us from point A to point B is becoming more desirable than incurring all of the expenses and burdens associated with car ownership. Logan Green will explore how this new transportation network is taking shape, why it’s happening now, and the factors that are making it possible.
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