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Stanford’s Strategic Energy Alliance adds Shell as fourth founding member

Aug 27, 2019
Precourt Institute

By Maxine Lym

Stanford University’s Strategic Energy Alliance announced that it has added Shell as a founding member. The Alliance is a research program in collaboration with industry to accelerate the transition to affordable, low-carbon, secure energy systems around the world. The company has pledged $20 million for research over five years.

"The world is undergoing a major transformation in the way that energy is sourced, distributed and used. The Strategic Energy Alliance seeks to help that transformation succeed in all its dimensions,” said Arun Majumdar, co-director with Sally Benson of Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy. “Shell has been a supporter of research at Stanford for more than 40 years, and we are delighted it will continue this tradition by joining the Alliance,” Majumdar added.

Launched in 2018, the Alliance matches industry members with Stanford faculty members who share common research interests across the spectrum of energy topics from science and engineering to policy and business. The Alliance also seeks to create new financial vehicles that reduce the costs and financial risks of building sustainable energy projects, especially in the developing world. The three other founding members are Bank of America, ExxonMobil, and Total.

“We are proud to be a member of the Alliance. It is imperative that cross-sector relationships like these continue to work together to find impactful solutions for society to transition to a low carbon world,” said Yuri Sebregts, Shell’s chief technology officer. “No one can answer the energy challenges the world faces alone. We need unprecedented and sustained collaboration.”

Managed by the Precourt Institute, the Alliance also pools together a significant amount of its member contributions to fund early research into new ideas with potentially far-reaching impact.

“Our Stanford energy faculty are constantly brainstorming new ways to improve our energy systems and reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Benson. “Sharing our strengths and expertise with industry leaders will help move us more quickly along this path.”

In addition to being the co-director of the Precourt Institute, Benson is a faculty member in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Majumdar is also a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Stanford’s School of Engineering.

For more information about the Alliance, visit

The Precourt Institute for Energy leads the university’s broad and deep efforts to help create a future of sustainable, affordable, secure energy for all people. In addition to the Strategic Energy Alliance, the Precourt Institute’s programs include the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, the Bits & Watts Initiative, the Sustainable Finance Initiativean upcoming initiative on energy storage, Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates and the Stanford Environmental & Energy Policy Analysis Center. The institute and all of its constituent programs are active in research, education and collaboration beyond campus.