Bert Metz, former co-chair IPCC Working Group on Mitigation of Climate Change, author of "Controlling Climate Change", and advisor to the European Climate Foundation.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Marija Ilić, Carnegie Mellon University
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Suedeen Kelly, Former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
In energy planning circles, in all sectors of the electric industry, in state utility regulatory commissions, and on Capitol Hill, we’ve heard a lot of discussion over the past year about changing the traditional paradigm surrounding the building of electric transmission in order to extend the country’s electric grid. Recently, the talk has moved into the arena of action. In the U.S. House and Senate, there are numerous bills that propose legislative changes to how we plan and site transmission in America—and how we allocate the cost of it. The Waxman-Markey Climate Change bill, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last year, includes such changes. All of the various bills differ one from the other. One similarity among them all is that the federal government’s role (in the person of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) would be expanded and the states’ role would be reduced.
Why is there a growing consensus for change? What’s wrong with how we’ve always done things? (How have we always done things?) Is there a problem here? What are the proposed changes? What are we trying to accomplish with change? What is the best proposal being put forward? Who likes the changes? Who stands to benefit from the changes? Will there be any losers? Ms. Kelly intends to answer these questions during her presentation. She will also discuss what is likely to happen to the U.S. electric grid if we do not see any legislative change from Congress.
John Curtis, Potential Gas Agency, Colorado School of Mines
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Professor Curtis will discuss shale gas resource assessments, possible roadblocks to future shale gas production and the use of gas geochemistry for discovery and development of this potential resource.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Targets for climate policies at the national and international levels were very poorly assessed, evaluated and communicated prior to the Copenhagen climate summit, and now urgently need to be re-analyzed. Using the results of the recent Energy Modeling Forum Global, US and EU climate policy model comparison exercises as points of departure, this talk looks at what kinds of formal and informal global climate policy agreements might be desirable and/or feasible. The relationship between global objectives and national and international policy architectures is crucial, but often ignored or done inconsistently. We take a hard look here at the large gap in public discourse that currently exists between what might be desirable and what might actually be feasible. We end with a set of pragmatic suggestions for how to proceed. The old policy initiatives did not work, but promising new ideas are emerging, so the need to at least keep the accounting straight has never been more important. Despite their immense popularity, “aspirational” goals and objectives have not, are not and will not ever work.
John Benner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
The installed capacity for photovoltaic generation of electricity in the United States is still a tiny slice of the generating mix of the country -- less than 0.1%. The industry must maintain a growth rate greater that 40% annually to achieve national goals to exceed 10% of the total electricity capacity by 2020. Surprisingly, this high rate of growth has been exceeded during the past several years even as the industry passed through its first major bottleneck. The shortage of silicon feedstock certainly impeded the expansion plans of many companies, left much production capacity unused, and likely contributed to a flattening of the trajectory of cost reduction. Perhaps sales would have been even higher had this shortage not constrained growth.
Looking forward, we can anticipate a number of other bottlenecks. We are already seeing longer lead times in equipment delivery. Feedstock for several leading technologies, including silicon, may continue to constrain growth. Distributed generation will soon grow to a point where utilities’ ability to integrate these sources may impede expansion. The current financial turmoil will limit expansion capital. Additionally, high penetration on distribution circuits will add problems that are only now becoming anticipated. Ultimately, we should all expect and welcome a shortage of government incentives, such that the technologies will be competing as low-cost energy producers.
This talk will provide a status report on photovoltaics and explore means to overcome anticipated barriers to sustaining the necessary growth.
Professor Michael McGehee, Director, Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics, Stanford University
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
The Solar Opportunity: How New Business Models Can Make the Sun a Mainstream Source of Global Electricity
Lyndon Rive, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SolarCity
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Most of the scientific community and a growing portion of the energy industry recognize that solar energy is one of the cleanest and most widely accessible means of producing electricity on Earth, yet solar power still counts for far less than 1 percent of global energy production. If solar is to take its proper place among coal, oil & gas, nuclear and other primary energy sources, new business models must necessarily emerge to facilitate mass adoption. Solar technology has become a risky, highly competitive gambit for new businesses. Opportunities abound for entrepreneurs in services, where new approaches to financing, distribution, implementation and administration can remove key barriers to adoption. This talk will explore today’s best solar opportunities from the entrepreneur’s perspective, and some emerging business models that might address them.
Annie Hazlehurst, Graduate Student, Stanford GSB
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
The economics of solar systems will drive long term adoption and market viability. Today, the U.S. and many other countries continue to subsidize the cost of solar systems and incentivize adoption through standards such as RPS. If solar is going to contribute meaningfully to our energy future, the economics must favorably compare to alternative sources of energy on a levelized cost basis. When and how will we achieve grid parity? The talk will cover where we are today and where we need to get for solar to be a primary source of global energy generation.
Panel with Stanford Faculty: Sally Benson, Director, Global Climate and Energy Project; Pamela Matson, Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences; Lynn Orr, Director, Precourt Institute for Energy; Stephen Schneider, Melvin & Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies; Jim Sweeney, Director Precourt Energy Efficiency Center; Buzz Thompson, Co-Director Woods Institute for the Environment
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | 04:15 PM - 05:30 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
The Stanford panelists will discuss a number of important themes and issues about energy use, impacts, and opportunities as we begin the transition to a low emission energy future. Panelists will consider economic viability, political will, resource constraints, and environmental impacts of various energy technologies at scale. They will discuss tradeoffs and how decision makers may seek co-benefits and avoid unintended consequences when making choices.
* Energy Social following the talk (Note: we do not provide venue details for social on the web)