climate change

Emily Wimberger, Chief Economist, California Air Resources Board, Carbon Pricing mini-series three of three

Monday, May 18, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Emily Wimberger is the Chief Economist at the California Air Resources Board.  In her role, Emily advises the Executive Office and Chairman on economic issues and leads a team of economists working to support ARB’s economic analyses. At ARB, Emily also has experience analyzing the market for Cap-and-Trade allowances and related energy, fuel, and carbon markets, implements the Cap-and-Trade Regulation.
 

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What Could a Global Shale Gas Revolution Bring?, Natural Gas mini-series three of three

Frank Wolak, Director, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Professor, Economics

Monday, May 11, 2015 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Thus far the United States has been the major beneficiary of shale gas. The rest of the world also has substantial shale gas resources, but there is significant uncertainty whether and how rapidly these resources will be developed. Lower natural gas prices in the United States (US) have significantly reduced US coal use. However, higher natural gas prices in Europe and Asia have led to increased coal use in these regions. Coal is already the major source of energy (as measured by heat content) to the developing world. Current trends suggest that it will soon surpass oil as the major source of heat energy globally. The spread of shale gas technology to other parts of the world will allow these regions to access cheap natural gas and reduce their coal use. However, there are significant legal and regulatory barriers as well as technological barriers to this shale gas development spreading to the rest of the world. This talk will discuss possible futures for the global natural gas and coal markets and the greenhouse gas implications of these futures.

 

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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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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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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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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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Panel, Ethics in an Energy Crisis: What Should We Do When Current Needs Conflict with Long-Term Sustainability?

Mark Bryant Budolfson, Blake Francis, Hyunseop Kim, Stanford University

Introduction by Debra Satz, Professor of Ethics in Society, Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities and Arts

Monday, October 21, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Mark Budolfson Blake Francis Hyunseop Kim Debra Satz

Ethics are important. The economic divide between the developed and developing world highlights the ethical dimensions of energy access in a climate-constrained world. Is it fair to hinder economic growth in developing countries because the wealthiest nations have changed the composition of the atmosphere and changed the climate of the planet? To what extent do the developed nations bear responsibility for not only remedying the problem, but also for compensating those people who are now suffering because of climate climate, or who could face tight emissions restrictions? As the economic balance of the world changes, what role should rapidly developing nations share in the responsibility to address these issues?

Here, we examine these issues through the lens of one country, Pakistan, which is struggling with a severe energy crisis that is holding back economic development and exacerbating political instability. Ethicists, economists, and others have developed a set of useful tools for deciding what to do when economic, environmental, and social values conflict. We will explain how some of these tools–including cost benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, and principles of justice–can help us evaluate aspects of the recent energy crisis in Pakistan, in which many competing values are at play. After months of rolling blackouts and documented impacts to economic growth, the Pakistani government decided to meet the current needs of their citizens by investing in coal and other fossil fuel technologies, rather than alternative sources of energy that many would argue are superior from the perspective of long-run sustainability. We use this example to illustrate how different general ethical theories use the tools we discuss to recommend different courses of action. One upshot is that ethics has many sophisticated tools but also involves many important unresolved questions–about how to make tradeoffs between different values, how to respond to risk and uncertainty, and so on. Another upshot is that ethics alone cannot settle what should be done in such complex situations–collaboration is also needed with those who have technical, political, and economic expertise. However, ethics can help clarify our reasoning, make our assumptions about values more explicit, and expose our values to critical scrutiny. In sum, we demonstrate the valuable role ethics can play when making decisions in the face of social and environmental challenges.

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Coping with the Scientific, Technological and Economic Uncertainties of Climate Change

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.

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Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) from Hydrocarbon-Based Power Projects

Eric Redman, President & CEO, Summit Power Group, LLC

Monday, April 1, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) on a large scale is regarded by many climate scientists as one indispensable element of any global carbon-reduction strategy. It is axiomatic that there can be no large-scale CCS project without a ‘sink’ for the carbon. The excellent work already performed on various geological sinks demonstrates that several different types of sink appear well-suited to large-scale sequestration. However, it is equally true that large-scale carbon sequestration also requires large-scale carbon capture projects. Very few exist, and almost none in the electric power sector, which is a leading source of global carbon emissions.

Seattle-based Summit Power Group is attempting to change this by developing several very large scale CCS projects in the electric power sector, both in the US (e.g., the Texas Clean Energy Project, which will capture and sequester 2.5 million tons of CO2 per year) and the UK (e.g., the Captain Clean Energy Project, which will capture and sequester more than 4 million tons of CO2 per year). Eric Redman is the president and chief executive officer of Summit, and will discuss the technical, commercial, financial, permitting, and public policy challenges of trying to be a ‘first mover’ on commercial-scale CCS projects in the power sector.

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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.

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