Commercializing Wind, Photovoltaics, Lighting, and Batteries: The Impact of Government Policies During the Past 25 Years
Cathy Zoi (tentative), Consulting Professor at Stanford University
Monday, March 10, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Cathy Zoi has spent 30 years in the energy and environmental sectors at the nexus between technology and policy. She served in the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) as Assistant Secretary and Acting Under Secretary, overseeing over $30 billion in energy investments. In the private sector, Cathy has been an energy investor and operating executive, with bases in both the US and Australia. She was the founding CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection established by former Vice President Al Gore. In the early 1990s, Cathy pioneered the Energy Star program and was Chief of Staff for environmental policy in the Clinton White House. Cathy has a BS in Geology from Duke and an MS in Engineering from Dartmouth.
Michael Wara, Associate Professor of Law
John P. Weyant, Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Monday, January 6, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
|Michael Wara||John Weyant|
Success in US climate policy equates to shepherding the energy system through a dramatic and uncertain transformation. Climate policies, in order to be successful, must be cost-effective and durable. Cost-effective because political reality supports a limited appetite for spending on climate change relative to other priorities. Durable because policies are politically costly to enact and must create credible incentives that produce change on the ground, even given substantial uncertainty about the future. Regulation under existing law, the Clean Air Act, promises to be credible but not cost-effective. Regulation via carbon pricing promises to be cost effective because it relies on diffuse information in markets to set priorities for reducing emissions. But different emission pricing policies, given that their goals are politically constrained, are not created equal. Recent cap-and-trade programs, if adopted, would not have proven durable given recent economic, technological, and social changes in the U.S. Today, members of Congress and some conservative groups support emission pricing via a carbon tax. A carbon tax, if enacted, would be cost effective, robust to forecast error, and credible in the face of economic, technological, and social change. Modeling evidence also suggests that it would be environmentally effective at modest cost to U.S. economic growth.
Charles Kolstad, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University
Monday, April 8, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
The threat of climate change has profound implications for the evolution of the world’s energy system over the coming decades. More than many environmental problems, uncertainty is a central characteristic of the problem – uncertainty regarding the physical science of climate but also uncertainty regarding the impacts, technologies (for mitigation, adaptation and geoengineering), costs, and human preferences.
The problem is larger than simple uncertainty. Some uncertainty is objective and fits into a probabilistic paradigm; other uncertainty is much more vague, with unknown probabilities (such as the likelihood of inventing a cheap way of storing electricity by 2020). Furthermore, uncertainty changes over time, either simply by acquiring more experience or through proactive measures to increase knowledge (eg, R&D). And further, some uncertainty is managed automatically by individuals and organizations seeking to reduce risk exposure (eg, with flood insurance). The bottom line is how to manage the risks of climate change in this complex and evolving environment? Insurance, financial markets, individual action and public policy can and should work in tandem to deal with this uncertainty. This talk provides a perspective on managing risk associated with climate change.
William Chueh, Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Monday, February 4, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Taking sunlight and converting it to chemical bonds and then to electricity is one of the most promising carbon-neutral energy cycles. At the Chueh group, we are developing new materials to electrochemically convert energy between sunlight, fuel, and electricity. We take a rational approach towards materials discovery and optimization. Using powerful electron, X-ray and optical microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, we are “seeing” electrochemistry as they take place on length scales ranging from tens of microns down to below one nanometer. These never-before-seen dynamics lead to new insights into the design of functional materials with novel compositions and structures, such as those for water-splitting membranes, fuel cells, and batteries.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ENERGY SEMINAR at 5:15 - 6:15 pm, GCEP invites Stanford faculty, students and staff to an informal poster session and energy social organized by GCEP students Boxiao Li and Haotian Wang in the Forbes Cafe area on the 1st floor of Huang.
Grid Flexibility and Research Challenges to Enhance the Integration of Variable Renewable Energy Sources
Mark O'Malley, Electrical Engineering Dept., University College Dublin
Monday, January 14, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Grid flexibility is a characteristic that is proposed to help the integration of variable renewable energy resources. However it has proven very difficult to quantify and this has spurred intense research efforts over the past few years. There are many sources, sinks and enablers for flexibility in the grid and these are all subject to numerous research challenges. Flexibility will be introduced, defined and a number of methods to quantify it will be described. This will be followed by an overview of research into unlocking flexibility in the power system e.g. demand side participation and power system operational strategies. There are potential hidden costs of flexibility and some of these will be highlighted, for example thermal plant cycling, and mitigation measures to reduce these will be formulated. Concluding remarks will try to give insights into how a future grid with very high penetrations of variable renewable energy may look like.
Arno Harris, CEO & Chairman, Recurrent Energy; Board Chair, Solar Energy Industry Association; Director, Advanced Energy Economy
Monday, January 7, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Despite recent political attacks and negative headlines, the renewable energy and the solar industries emerge from 2012 ready to play a significant part in mainstream energy markets. Industry data reflects an increasing role for renewables as the fastest growing new source of electricity. It is now all but inevitable that our energy future will feature some combination of natural gas, wind, and solar. In this new era of mainstream clean energy, energy policy and industry action will determine what this future looks like. Will we end up with a gas-centric generating fleet with wind and solar around the edges? Or will we prioritize wind and solar with gas in a supporting role? What steps can we take to ensure renewables remain a central priority?
Mark Lerdal, Hydrogen California and MP2 Capital
Monday, November 12, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Hydrogen Energy California is a project for converting fossil fuels to hydrogen in order to generate clean power and manufacture low-carbon fertilizer products. HECA will be one of the first industrial complexes combining a large, commercial scale power plant and a low-carbon footprint fertilizer manufacturing facility, while capturing the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the fossil fuel to hydrogen conversion process. Utilizing the CO2 for fertilizer production and enhanced oil recovery increases domestic energy security, while simultaneously storing the captured CO2 permanently in the geologic formations where the oil was extracted. It is a project that offers California, the nation, and the world progress toward controlling global climate change, while providing enormous economic stimulus through construction and related jobs over the intermediate term and permanent manufacturing and related jobs over the long term.
Admiral Gary Roughead, Annenberg Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Monday, October 22, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
From the introduction to the book "Powering the Armed Forces, Meeting the Military's Energy Challenges," written by Sharon E. Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs:
For the nation, our energy security, economic well-being and national security are inextricably linked. For the U.S. Department of Defense, better energy security means a more effective military force–one that is more agile, lethal and adaptable, and one that can better fulfill its mission to protect the nation.
At the same time, several trends, from the rising global demand for energy to changing geopolitics, as well as new threats, mean that the cost and availability of energy for Americans and our troops will be less certain in the future. By being smarter about our energy use, we can make a military and nation built to last.
Jochen Harnisch, KFW, Head of Division, Competence Center Environment & Climate, Frankfurt, Germany
Monday, October 15, 2012 | 04:15 AM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
The last decade experienced a remarkable expansion of the deployment of renewable energy such as wind, solar and bioenergy in several countries, including China, the United States, Germany and Spain. This was largely driven by feed-in support schemes and tax breaks, accompanied by a wider enabling framework. Open global markets and emerging new competitors have led to intense competition in local equipment markets and substantial price compression.
At the same time a number of equipment manufacturers went out of business. This has led to public disillusionment with the sustainability of the local employment effects of promoting renewable energy. Suspect state subsidies for some equipment manufacturers in some countries have further burdened the political climate. Additionally, renewable energy's greater share of overall supplies has led to rising electricity prices, growing budget liabilities or reduced tax revenues.
Screening of "Switch," followed by a discussion with the film's producer Scott Tinker, and Stanford University professors Sally Benson, Margot Gerritsen, and Mark Jacobson
Scott W. Tinker, Bureau of Economic Geology, the State Geologist of Texas
Monday, October 8, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 06:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
What does the future of energy really hold? Join Scott Tinker on a spectacular global adventure to find out. Scott explores the world’s leading energy sites, from coal to solar, from oil to biofuels. Many of these sites are highly restricted and never before seen on film. Scott gets straight answers from the people driving energy today, international leaders of government, industry and academia. In the end, he cuts through the confusion to discover a path to our future that is surprising and remarkably pragmatic.
"Switch" is a balanced documentary, embraced and supported by people all along the energy spectrum – fossil and renewable, academic and environmental.