energy efficiency

Large-Scale Solar: TomKat Center Seed Grant Research

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.

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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

We will consider the political context of energy policy in Japan since the 1970s oil shocks.  I will argue that political arrangements in Japan after World War II made it attractive for politicians to pursue energy conservation by making energy, particularly for automobile transportation and electricity usage, expensive for the average Japanese citizen.  The revenues and economic rents created by various fees, taxes, and regulations to promote energy conservation were redistributed to core supporters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.  These political arrangements have come under challenge in recent years, calling into question Japan’s traditional approach towards energy conservation.

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Resource Revolution: A Tenfold Increase in Productivity

Stefan Heck, consulting professor, Precourt Institute for Energy

Monday, October 27, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The prophets of doom are wrong. They believe the rapid rise over the next two decades of a new 2.5-billion-person urban middle class—and the unprecedented demand this growth will generate for oil, gas, steel, land, food, water, cement, clean air, and other commodities—must inevitably spur a global economic and environmental crisis. This talk takes that challenge seriously—but comes to exactly the opposite conclusion.

Instead, I will make the case that we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, the Resource Revolution, and that that same order of magnitude change we saw in labor productivity is possible for resources. We can meet soaring demand in a sustainable way by transforming how companies and societies prosper represents nothing less than the biggest business opportunity in one hundred years. The combination of information technology, nanoscale materials, and biotech with traditional industrial technology can unleash a step-change in resource productivity and generate enormous new profit pools. However, capturing these business opportunities—and avoiding the disruption they bring—will require an entirely new approach to management.

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Developing the Next Generation of Energy Efficiency

Dian Grueneich, Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University

Monday, September 22, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Over the past 30 years, energy efficiency has become an important tool for reducing customer and utility costs and achieving sustainability goals, particularly avoided carbon emissions, but its impact is still limited. The widely used model for delivery of energy efficiency is a utility-centric approach funded through ratepayer or other public fees with complex regulatory oversight structure.  The focus has been on delivering widgets (primarily CFLs) with limited attention to persistency of savings, linkage to procurement decisions, leveraging of private sector financing, or support for innovation. Energy efficiency needs to transform significantly over the next 30 years in order for it to be a large-scale tool for climate change and economic development.  Private investment, innovation, and deeper reliance on markets are critical to rapid expansion of energy efficiency.

I will discuss a new initiative Stanford has launched on the “next generation on energy efficiency”. This project will develop a new framework to deliver deep, persistent, and comprehensive savings, at a level far beyond historical practice.  I will discuss key areas of the project including: identifying the most successful existing energy efficiency efforts in terms of cost, persistency of savings, scalability, market share, and ease of implementation; identifying key barriers that must be overcome for the next generation of efficiency to deliver large-scale, persistent savings; analyzing new technologies and approaches that can improve efficiency uptake; researching new delivery approaches that can support energy efficiency in a more market-oriented fashion; and examining a new regulatory structure to support new approaches to energy efficiency.

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Tailoring Demand to Match Supply: How Much Flexibility There is in Loads?

Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environental Engineering, Stanford University

Monday, January 27, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Increase in supply side variability due to increases in renewable generation require demand side management strategies to reduce electricity delivery costs. Smart grid technologies provide opportunities for measuring and controlling loads at an unprecedented scale. Yet, understanding their performance requires accurately capturing how loads respond to specific technologies and how consumer behavior affects such response.  Typical demand side management planning and capability studies have been conducted relying on theoretical scenarios of adoption and response. This talk presents a new approach utilizing large scale individual level data made available by AMI deployments (smart meters). We utilize a 500,000+ customer data set and measure the available flexibility as well as potential strategies to elicit this flexibility from consumers.We classify various types of flexibility and demonstrate methods to infer them relying on features from data that reflect both behavior and response to specific technologies.  We demonstrate that flexibility depends both on environmental and geographical considerations as well as appropriately classifying and selecting consumers.The proposed approaches illustrates the value of combining tools from statistical signal processing,  stochastic control, machine learning and economics. 

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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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Entrepreneurship Mini-Series, part II: Recent Stanford Graduates in Energy Start-Ups

Max Kelman, Manager of Materials & Print Development at Innovalight, Inc./DuPont; Jacob Woodruff, Senior Scientist at SunPower Corporation

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

Maxim Kelman and Jacob Woodruff are relatively recent Stanford graduates in physical science and engineering who have worked successfully in solar energy-related start-ups. Kelman and Woodruff will describe the evolution of their careers to date, lessons learned about the start-up world and how it differs from academic and larger corporate workplaces. This will include the implementation of research findings into pilot and manufacturing lines with accelerated development timelines, and what it is like to work in the early stages versus later stages after reorganization and introduction of new management. Personality traits that may be useful among start-up employees will also be discussed.

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Entrepreneurship Mini-series, part I: Challenges in Founding a New Energy Technology Company

Brian Hardin and Craig Peters, Co-Founders of PlantPV; Howard Turner, CTO of Kinestral Technologies

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

Brian Hardin Craig Peters Howard Turner

Brian Hardin and Craig Peters (PlantPV) and Howard Turner (Kinestral) will discuss some of the important challenges that arise in founding a new energy technology company. Topics include both the tactical aspects of starting up a new venture, and more strategic considerations of entering an energy market with a technology developed using Silicon Valley venture capital funding. Speakers will explore key drivers, aside from interesting science, for selecting the technology space in which to start a company. They will also describe ways in which students may prepare themselves for future start-ups while still in school.

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Renewable Electricity Futures

Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis at NREL

Monday, November 26, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study is  an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels--from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies--in 2050.

At such high levels of renewable electricity penetration, the unique characteristics of some renewable resources, specifically geographical distribution and variability and uncertainty in output, pose challenges to the operability of the nation's electric system. The study focuses on key technical implications of this environment from a national perspective, exploring whether the U.S. power system can supply electricity to meet customer demand on an hourly basis with high levels of renewable electricity, including variable wind and solar generation. The study also identifies some of the potential economic, environmental, and social implications of deploying and integrating high levels of renewable electricity in the United States.

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