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Letters from the Directors

Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering Building. SEQ2Science and Engineering Quad 2
March 14, 2017
The global energy system is at a strategic inflection point arising from three disruptive D's – Decarbonization, Decentralization and Digitization.  We have discussed these three D's in our previous briefing papersHere, we address the question: What can and should we do to navigate it?

The legendary Intel CEO, Andy Grove... more

Photo: Close-up of solar modules. Credit: NREL
July 12, 2016

While you might not have been paying attention, California’s electric grid has undergone a radical transformation. Today, more than 25 percent of the electricity used in California comes from renewable energy resources, not including the additional 10-15 percent from large-scale hydropower or all the electricity generated from roof-top solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Compared to only five years ago,... more

Power line with city in background
May 3, 2016

The electricity system is the lifeline of any modern economy.  After roughly 120 years of existence, it is in the early stages of receiving a significant makeover, posing enormous challenges and opportunities.  Three unmistakable trends, driven by economics as well as policies on greenhouse gas emissions, are causing this paradigm shift – deep penetration of natural gas; development and integration of large, utility-scale renewables; and... more

April 12, 2016

This is the first in a new series of commentaries from the directors of the Precourt Institute. The goal is to stimulate a conversation about the future of energy and the role that Stanford can play in helping industries, countries and society at large thrive over the coming decades. 

There is growing and unassailable evidence that the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels is... more