renewable energy

Nanophotonic Control of Thermal Radiation and Energy Applications

Shanhui Fan, Professor, Electrical Engineering, Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University

Monday, April 20, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Nanophotonic structures provide new opportunities to control both the near and far field of thermal electromagnetic fields. Exploiting these opportunities can lead to significant novel energy device and system applications. In this talk, we review some of our recent theoretical and experimental efforts towards developing some of these nanophotonic structures. Specifically, we show that combining near and far field effect results in a thermal extractions scheme, where the total thermal emission of a macroscopic thermal emitter can exceed the apparent blackbody limit of the emitter. We also show that nanophotonic structures can be applied to demonstrate radiative cooling under direct sunlight. Finally, we explore the new thermal physics as enabled by the use of non-reciprocal thermal emitters, where maximum violation of detailed balance between absorption and emission becomes possible.

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Wind Uncertainty in Electricity Markets: Practical Challenges

Mar Reguant, Assistant Professor, Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Monday, April 13, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Integrating large quantities of wind and solar energy is often considered a challenge due to the intermittent nature of renewable generation. I present evidence on the costs and benefits of renewable power based on data from the Iberian Electricity market, which as of 2012 produces over 20% of its electricity from wind power, and about 5% of its electricity with solar power. I examine the challenges of wind and solar integration from an empirical perspective, and quantify the relative impacts of uncertainty and volatility on realized electricity costs. I also show how market incentives can distort optimal planning, by examining wind farm behavior in centralized electricity auctions. Allowing wind farms to participate in centralized markets can increase competition and decrease procurement costs, but it might increase inefficiencies in the market.

 

 

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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

Bio: 

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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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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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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Can Fusion Step Up? Encouraging Developments in Laser Fusion Research and Prospects for a Future Energy Source

 Siegfried Glenzer, Distinguished Staff Scientist, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Monday, May 19, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

One of the great challenges of this century is to determine if nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes can be demonstrated in the laboratory and developed into an unlimited carbon-free energy source. Recently, experiments on laser-driven targets have begun on the National Ignition Facility to reach temperatures and densities more extreme than the center of the sun. These studies have the goal to demonstrate a burning plasma state with significant fusion energy gain. In this talk, I will present a new high-energy-density science program at SLAC aimed at pursuing discovery-class science of fusion plasmas. Here, we use the seeded LCLS beam with x-ray pulses with the highest peak brightness available today. This capability allows us to measure plasmons and physical material properties in dynamic experiments. Our data allow direct determination of pressure for validating theoretical models of the most extreme states of matter. I will show how LCLS data relate back to the design of ignition fusion experiments and will discuss prospects for near-term progress and fusion energy gain in the future.

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The Rapidly Changing Economics of Solar PV Power, Solar Mini-Series (1 of 2)

Anshuman Sahoo, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Management Science & Engineering at Stanford

Monday, February 24, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

This talk examines the economics of solar photovoltaic power both from the perspective of investors in solar installations and from the perspective of solar panel manufacturers. For investors, the key consideration is the cost competitiveness of solar PV relative to other electricity sources. The model calculations I present focus on commercial – and utility scale installations, highlighting the importance of geographic location and the role of federal tax subsidies.

To project the economics of solar PV in coming years, I will summarize some recent work that examines changes in the manufacturing costs of solar panel manufacturers. These findings suggest that the dramatic reductions in module prices over the past few years are partly attributable to cost reductions, but also to massive additions of manufacturing capacity that arguably left the industry with excess capacity. The talk will present a methodology for quantifying the magnitude of these two effects in order to make predictions about the future price trajectory of solar panels and, by implication, the competitiveness of solar power.

 

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Energy Policy (and Politics) in Theory and Practice: A Case Study in Renewable Energy Finance

Dan Reicher, Executive Director of the Steyer Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance

Felix Mormann, Faculty Fellow, Stanford University's Steyer–Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance,

Monday, January 13, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Dan Reicher Felix Mormann

Since 2012, we have been exploring the potential of master limited partnerships (MLPs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) to spur the deployment of renewable energy. Technological innovation continues to bring down the cost of solar panels, wind turbines, and other equipment but financial innovation is lagging. As a result, financing charges may drive up a renewable power project's levelized cost of electricity by up to 50%. Our analysis suggests that MLPs and REITs have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of capital for renewable energy. But even the smartest policy proposal does not earn legislative approval easily, as illustrated by the MLP Parity Act which enjoys strong support on both sides of the aisle but still faces a tricky road in Washington. It takes time, ingenuity, and political savvy to build necessary support in the industry, on Wall Street, and on Capitol Hill for even a well supported idea like this. We will present the results of our analytical work as well as insights from our advisory participation in the ongoing political process.

 

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A review of environmental impacts of renewable electricity generation technologies from a life cycle perspective

Garvin Heath, Senior Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Monday, November 4, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Through systematic reviews and original research, this presentation will review evidence of environmental impacts of renewable electricity generation technologies compared, where possible, to their conventional incumbents. Evidence for greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use will be reviewed mostly from the perspective of life cycle assessment. Areas of uncertainty will be highlighted as suggestions for future research.

 

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BETTER BURNING: China's Attempt at Clean Coal

Shisen Xu, President, Clean Energy Research Institute at China Huaneng Group; moderated by Jeffrey Ball, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University

Monday, October 7, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

China consumes nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined, and is leading the world in greenhouse gas emissions. Now, even as China builds more coal-fired power plants, it is working to roll out technologies to burn that coal more cleanly — from anti-smog filters to systems to capture carbon dioxide and shoot it underground. China has launched the world’s largest “clean coal” experiment. During this talk, the top technology officer from China’s largest power company will assess the state of cleaner coal-burning technology and its prospects for real-world rollout in China and around the globe. Shisen Xu is President of the Clean Energy Research Institute at China Huaneng Group, one of China’s largest state-owned electric utilities. 

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