About Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy
To help realize the vision of sustainable, affordable, secure energy for all, the Precourt Institute for Energy seeks to develop at Stanford University and beyond the creativity, collaboration, learning and leadership needed for the global energy transformation.
The Precourt Institute funds research across Stanford with the potential to solve the toughest energy challenges. The institute sponsors courses and a postdoctoral program, and it supports Stanford students interested in energy. The Precourt Institute works on the deployment of Stanford solutions and engages stakeholders at events. It promotes the achievements of the wider Stanford ENERGY community.
Precourt Institute initiatives and centers:
- Bits & Watts Initiative
- Hydrogen Initiative
- Natural Gas Initiative
- Stanford Environmental & Energy Policy Analysis Center
- StorageX Initiative
- Sustainable Finance Initiative
- TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
Other Precourt Institute initiatives and centers:
- Energy Modeling Forum
- Explore Energy
- Hacking 4 Defense
- Mexico Clean Economy 2050
- Stanford Center for Carbon Storage
- Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates
- Stanford Energy Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Strategic Energy Alliance
Seed grant programs at the Precourt Institute, StorageX Initiative and the Bits & Watts Initiative fund early-stage research with potential for high impact on energy supply and use. These “proof of concept” awards, which encourage interdisciplinary research, bridge theory to early experiments and analysis. Positive results often proceed to large-scale studies. The Precourt Institute launched a new grant award in 2021 called the Precourt Pioneering Projects. These grant awards are aimed at tackling urgent and important problems in energy and those that remain undeveloped relative to other areas at Stanford. These awards are to support faculty to build a strong collaborative team of 3-4 faculty members and enable them to explore outside funding opportunities based on this research.
Members of the Strategic Energy Alliance sponsor individual research projects with faculty members and pool some funds for research chosen through the Strategic Energy Research Consortium's open calls for proposals.
Education & Outreach
The Precourt Institute works with Stanford schools and departments to identify promising energy scholars and areas of scholarship to recruit talented new faculty. We disseminate the results of Stanford energy research. The institute’s weekly Energy Seminar informs the Stanford community on energy and environmental issues and perspectives. Speakers come from leading research institutions, energy companies, government and other organizations. The seminar is offered as a for-credit course for Stanford students during fall, winter and spring terms, and is free and open to the public.
The Precourt Institute creates avenues for interaction among Stanford scholars and people in business, government and other institutions engaged in solving energy problems. Toward that end, the Precourt Institute co-hosts conferences and workshops with other groups throughout the year. The Stanford Global Energy Forum, hosted by four former U.S. cabinet members, brings together more than 500 global energy leaders to examine the rapidly changing energy systems around the world. To facilitate interaction between Stanford researchers and the private sector, we started the Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates program.
Energy@Stanford & SLAC is a one-week conference for new Stanford graduate students interested in energy. Students experience the breadth and depth of research across Stanford, and network with faculty, staff and fellow students.
The institute also supports the student-led Stanford Energy Club, which networks more than 600 students, scholars and local professionals interested in energy issues.
Stanford University fully engages in sustainability challenges through research programs, projects and partnerships; campus buildings and student residences; energy, water, dining and transportation operations; and many courses, academic programs and learning activities. The Stanford community aspires to the goal of human wellbeing across generations and around the world, and is committed to including social, ethical, economic, ecological, environmental and resource considerations in decision making. We hope every student at Stanford shares this goal and learns how to engage effectively in reaching it.
-Provost John Etchemendy, January 2017