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 advancedenergy advocate. Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded andwas the Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management.
Tom is actively engaged in climate politics through his NextGen Climate politicalorganization, and works to promote economic development and environmentalprotection in California and across the country. In 2010, Tom teamed up withformer Secretary of State George Shultz to defeat Proposition 23, an effort byout-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 Proposition39, which closed a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and created jobs inCalifornia.
Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates andother 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 andFoundation, which provides loans and banking services to underserved smallbusinesses, communities and individuals in California and along the west coast.Tom and Kat have four children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eric Pop, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Monday, September 23, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center |
Energy use and conversion are important for the design of low-power electronics and energy-conversion systems. This is also a rich domain for both fundamental discoveries as well as technological advances. This talk will present recent highlights from our studies at the intersection of energy, nanomaterials, and nanoelectronics. We have investigated thermoelectric effects in graphene transistors and carbon nanotube composites, for both low-power electronics and energy harvesting. We have also examined energy-efficient data storage based on phase change (rather than charge or spin), achieving operation at femtojoules per bit, two orders of magnitude below industry state-of-the-art. The results suggest new directions to improve energy efficiency towards fundamental limits, through the design of geometry and materials.
Monday, June 3, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
|Derek Ouyang||Rob Best||Felipe Pincheira||Collin Lee|
Start.Home is Stanford's first entry into the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition (http://www.solardecathlon.gov). This biannual competition challenges 20 teams to design and build netzero, solarpowered homes that are judged on 10 different contests, from affordability to engineering.
While modern green homes often boast adaptive systems that reduce energy use behind the
scenes, our philosophy is that technology alone cannot solve the global energy problem. Equally important is awareness of how each of our daily choices affect our environmental footprints. Only through a combination of a passive home and an active mind can we achieve a lifestyle that is truly sustainable.
Stanford Solar Decathlon is a team of committed engineers and entrepreneurs seeking to design
a home that not only excels at the competition, but also has the potential to become an effective
business model in the future. To this end, we are developing a “Start.Home” concept that will provide sustainability at the push of a button to a new generation of environmentally conscious homeowners. The design will emphasize innovation in the constructability of modular architecture and advancements in controls for an intuitive building management core. Every component of the home will be optimized for customizability, affordability, and life cycle value. As a marketable brand, Start.Home will reflect the spirit of Stanford students to challenge preconceived notions of “green” and start a new movement in sustainable living.
Four student leaders from the team will present the unique Start.Home design vision, share their
experiences designing and building the netzero home, and emphasize the importance of projectbased, interdisciplinary learning. After the presentation, the audience is encouraged to join the team on a short 5 minute walk over to the construction site located by Terman Park and tour the Start.Home. For more information, please visit http://solardecathlon.stanford.edu