energy and climate policy

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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Ethanol in Brazil: a model to follow or to avoid? (Latin America mini-series 3 of 4)

Dario Gaeta, CEO, Sermatec

 

Monday, May 5, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Brazil's fuel comsumption has reached 50% of its matrix of Ethanol. The biggest clean energy programm in the world. How many investors are asking if it pays back? What is happening? Does it really work or it is a "hoax"? What is the future of this program?

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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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Does Rebound Offset the Savings from Energy Efficiency?

Severin Borenstein, E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy, UC Berkeley

 

Monday, February 10, 2014 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Improving the efficiency with which we use energy is often said to be the most cost-effective way to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, such improvements usually lower the cost of using energy-intensive goods and may create wealth from the energy savings, both of which lead to increased energy use, a ``rebound'' effect. Disagreements about the magnitude of energy efficiency rebound are immense and play a central role in debates over the role energy efficiency can play in combating climate change. But these differing views seem to stem as much from the lack of a common framework for the analysis as from different estimates of key parameters. I present a theoretical framework that parses rebound into economic income and substitution effects. The framework helps shed new light on how rebound is affected by the pricing of energy, as well as by the degree to which consumers optimize their consumption. I then explore the implications of this framework for measurement of rebound, examining rebound from improved auto fuel economy and lighting efficiency. The illustrative calculations I carry out suggest that rebound is unlikely to that more than offset the savings from energy efficiency investments (known as ``backfire''), but rebound is likely to reduce the net savings by roughly 10% to 40% from these energy efficiency improvements.

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Powering the Future

Robert Laughlin, Department of Physics, Stanford University

Monday, November 18, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

This talk will follow the rough outline of Robert's recent book, Powering the Future: How We Will (Eventually) Solve the Energy Crisis and Fuel the Civilization of Tomorrow. Robert will take the audience past contemporary politics through a mental journey to a time, several centuries from now, when nobody uses carbon-based fuel out of the ground anymore, either because they have banned the practice or it is gone. The world will be warmer then, although exactly how much warmer depends on events to come. What is this time like? How do the people make their living? What do they learn in school about us? While scientific discoveries of the future are difficult to predict, some of the future is very predictable by virtue of the immutability of physical law and human nature. People wishing to live well will still need energy. The energy in question will still be conserved. It will still have to be procured from somewhere in prodigious amounts and discarded into space after use. Chemical bonds will be the same as they are now. So will gravity. The constraints on energy storage will be the same. Nuclear waste will still be dangerous. Thinking through the energy and climate problem backward in this way is easy to do, and it clarifies the present-day situation immensely.

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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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China Miniseries (5 of 5): Beijing's Bets—Planning China's Energy Future

Zhongying Wang, Deputy Director General, Energy Research Institute, China National Development & Reform Commission

Monday, May 20, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

More than any other country, China sets an energy strategy and then pursues it. The central government writes those plans. To try to feed the energy appetite of China’s 1.35 billion people, Beijing’s energy planners have laid out an all-of-the-above agenda: more coal, more natural gas, more nuclear, more energy efficiency and more renewable power. How their agenda fares will shape political stability in China — and energy markets and the environment around the world. What’s their plan? Does what they write in Beijing really dictate what happens on the ground? What developments do they find most promising? And what roadblocks — technologically, politically, economically — do they see as the biggest threats? In this final session of the China energy series, a top official at the Chinese government’s energy-research arm will offer a frank look ahead at his country’s energy challenges and options.

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China Miniseries (4 of 5): Market Maker—What China's Clean-Energy Push Means for America

Jeffrey Ball, Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance 

Monday, May 13, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Clean-energy technologies are growing up. Now, if they’re going to become a significant part of the global energy mix, the world’s approach to them will have to grow up too. That will require a less emotional, more rational understanding of the changing relationship between China and the U.S. in the global clean-energy race. The two countries have sharply different agendas in this competition, yet each needs the other if it’s to achieve its own goals. The surest sign of that dependence comes in following the money: Clean-energy investment is ramping up in both directions across the Pacific. Yet this relationship is prompting increasing unease and debate. In this session, a longtime writer about energy and the environment explores how China’s clean-energy push is affecting American industry and consumers — and how America, moving forward, might play most effectively to its own clean-energy strengths.

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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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