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Images of particles made from a promising battery cathode material called NMC

Initiatives, Centers & Programs

The following centers, programs and initiatives are significant strands in the fabric of interdisciplinary energy research at Stanford.

The Stanford Energy Bits & Watts Initiative develops innovations for the electric grid needed to enable reliance on intermittent power and distributed energy resources, while keeping the grid secure and affordable.

A U.S. Energy Frontier Research Center led by Prof. Tony Kovscek, the Center for Mechanistic Control in Unconventional Formations seeks to understand and control the chemical and physical processes that increase hydrocarbon production while reducing produced water, contaminants and number of wells.

The Energy Modeling Forum improves understanding of energy/environment problems and solutions. It examines the strengths and limitations of alternative models and analytical approaches.

The Global Climate & Energy Project was a $225-million sponsored-research program that helped launch multi-disciplinary energy research at Stanford. It funded research projects at Stanford and at leading institutions around the world.

The Stanford Energy Hydrogen Initiative supports research to accelerate the use of hydrogen in achieving sustainable, affordable, secure energy for all people. 

The Natural Gas Initiative, a joint program of the School for Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and the Precourt Institute for Energy, investigates how to use natural gas to its greatest benefit. Members of this affiliate program support Stanford research in engineering, science, policy, geopolitics, and business.

A U.S. Energy Frontier Research Center led by Prof. Jen Dionne, Photonics at Thermodynamic Limits seeks photonic operations at thermodynamic limits by controlling photons, electrons and phonons in materials architected at the atomic level.

Freeman Spogli Institute's Program on Energy & Sustainable Development draws on economics, political science, law and management to investigate how real energy markets work. It informs policy makers around the world on the impacts of those markets.

The Task Force on Energy Policy at the Hoover Institution addresses U.S. energy policy as it affects, or is affected by, the economy, the environment and national security.

Stanford Carbon Removal Initiative, (in development by the Precourt Institute and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment), will seek to create science-based opportunities and solutions for gigaton-scale negative emissions and atmospheric carbon removal.

The Stanford Center for Carbon Storage at the School for Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences addresses critical questions about flow physics, monitoring, geochemistry, geomechanics and simulation of the transport and fate of CO2 stored in oil and gas fields, and saline reservoirs.

SEEPAC analyzes and evaluates policies to address issues such as climate change, air pollution, vulnerability to oil supply disruptions and energy conservation.

The Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Sciences, which is jointly run by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford, researches combinations of complex and novel materials for clean and economical energy.

The Stanford Energy StorageX Initiative addresses gaps between academic and industrial R &D by accelerating the development, translation and adoption of energy storage solutions.

The Steyer-Taylor Center, a joint program of Stanford Law School and Graduate School of Business, explores and develops economically sensible policy and finance solutions that advance cleaner and more secure energy.

Large global companies support energy research and education at Stanford through the Precourt Institute's Strategic Energy Alliance as sponsored research, pooled funds and gifts.

The SUNCAT Center, which is jointly run by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford, explores atomic-scale design of catalysts critical to future energy technologies, like artificial photosynthesis, batteries, fuel cells and cleaner fuels.

The Stanford Energy Sustainable Finance Initiative works to accelerate funding for the decarbonization of global systems by developing advanced policies and financial mechanisms, educating leaders, and engaging global policy and finance.

The Precourt Institute's TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy funds renewable energy research and supports translation of research in sustainability toward commercialization. In education, it grants postdoctoral fellowships and summer internships.