energy policy

Fireside chat with Tom Steyer and Sally Benson

Tom Steyer, Investor, Philanthropist and Advanced Energy Advocate

Monday, March 9, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All


Tom Steyer is a California business leader, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate. Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded and was the Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management. 

Tom is actively engaged in climate politics through his NextGen Climate political organization, and works to promote economic development and environmental protection in California and across the country. In 2010, Tom teamed up with former Secretary of State George Shultz to defeat Proposition 23, an effort by out-of-state oil companies to dismantle California’s groundbreaking clean energy law, AB 32. In 2012, Tom served as co-chair with Shultz for Yes on Proposition 39, which closed a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and created jobs in California.

Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes. Tom and Kat created and funded the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank and Foundation, which provides loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities and individuals in California and along the west coast. Tom and Kat have four children.

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Changes, Challenges and Uncertainties for Utilities: Addressing 111(d) and Beyond, 111(d) Mini-Series (2 of 3)

Jonathan Weisgall, Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Monday, February 9, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All


Jonathan Weisgall is Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Berkshire Hathaway Energy, formerly MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and president of the Geothermal Energy Association.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught a seminar on energy issues since 1990, and he has also guest lectured on energy issues at Stanford Law School and the Johns Hopkins Environmental Science and Policy Program. Mr. Weisgall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and from Stanford Law School, where he served on the Board of Editors of Stanford Law Review. He previously practiced law in Washington, D.C. at Covington & Burling, has written law review articles for Wisconsin Law Review and University of San Francisco Law Review, and has published articles in Legal Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, SAIS Review, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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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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Clearing the Air: Ensuring Long Term Value to Shell by Addressing Climate Change and Pricing Carbon, Carbon Pricing mini-series one of three

Angus Gillespie, Vice President for CO2, Shell 

Monday, January 12, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Shell recognizes the importance of broadening the frame of the energy and climate change discussion. There needs to be substantial additional amounts of energy to meet growing population levels and increasing standards of living worldwide. At the same time, we recognize the need to reduce CO2. Energy is fundamental to our civilization. Much of the world’s population enjoys abundant and affordable energy. But three billion do not. Providing them with the energy they need to improve their quality of life whilst reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is an important challenge to address.  

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A New Energy Economy in America, mini-series one of three: 111(d)

Bill Ritter, former Colorado Governor; Founder and Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), Colorado State University.

Monday, December 1, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Today, 220 million Americans live in a state with a Renewable Portfolio Standard and 240 million live in states with a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  When taken in aggregate, the population of those states with commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be the fifth largest country in the world. Despite the fact that climate is a global issue, states are really leading the U.S. forward.  Governor Ritter will discuss the Colorado New Energy Economy story and examples of other states that have led the energy revolution. 



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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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A New Energy Agenda for Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities (Latin America mini-series 4 of 4)

Mauricio Garron, Senior Energy Specialist, CAF Development Bank of Latin America

Monday, May 12, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

The objective is to offer a broad perspective on the current situation and the challenges that Latin America and the Caribbean will face in the short, medium and long run. The aim, then, is to provide an overview that helps to identify both these challenges and opportunities for developing energy projects and improve regional energy planning that can make a contribution to sustainable economic development.

The talk would give an overview of the factors affecting the energy situation and the impacts on Latin America. It also analyses the progress towards and obstacles to energy integration and security of supply. Another important issue is the balance between resources and reserves as this affects the supply and consumption of energy. The environmental implications and problems associated with climate change in the context of global energy development trends. Particular emphasis will be is laid on the potential role of progress with technological development and innovation, energy efficiency and renewable energies.
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Special panel talk with students

Gro Brundtland, Board of Directors, United Nations Foundation; Former Prime Minister of Norway

Monday, April 14, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:14 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

This Energy Seminar will feature a student-led discussion with Dr. Gro Brundtland on the challenges in climate and energy --an area she has been a global leader.

**Come join us for the Precourt Institute for Energy social following this talk. NVIDIA Foyer, 5:15-6:15 (open to Stanford faculty, staff, and students. Editors of the Stanford Energy Journal will be present to discuss their latest sustainability transportation issue.

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Saving Time and Energy through Bus-Rapid-Transit Projects Around the World

Sharareh Tavafrashti, Principal Engineer, San Francisco County Transportation Authority

Elkin Bello, Program Manager, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy 

Monday, April 7, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Shari Tavafrashti Elkin Bello

As the cost of providing space and energy for personal transportation options have increased both on the capital side as well as its energy footprint and consequences, mass transportation is gaining priority for developing and developed countries. In this presentation, we will provide a few examples of the successful and not so successful implementations for the bus rapid transit system around the world. The lecture will compare key features of various BRT projects around the world and attempt to address their impact on sustainable development and transportation solutions in each environment.

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Commercializing Wind, Photovoltaics, Lighting, and Batteries: The Impact of Government Policies During the Past 25 Years

Cathy Zoi, Consulting Professor at Stanford University

Monday, March 3, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

On March 10th, Cathy Zoi will present the findings from Energy 158, a research seminar held during the Fall of 2013, that investigated the progress of wind, photovoltaics, lighting and batteries over the past 30 years, and the impact that government intervention had on this progress. She will then apply these lessons from history to propose a framework policy makers can use in the future.

Rationale for the research: Public policy imperatives have created a drive for energy technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve national security, and boost domestic economic activity. To accelerate the development and commercialization of these new technologies beyond what the market would deliver on its own, governments frequently use policies like direct R&D funding, financial incentives or penalties (e.g. through the tax code, state funds, or utility rates), mandatory targets or caps, information disclosure, and performance codes and standards to create market conditions that favor emerging technologies. There is significant public debate about the most effective mix of these policy interventions.


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