The 21st Century Solar Army Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion Seminar Series

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: The sun is a boundless source of clean energy, but it goes down every night. We and many others are trying to design solar-driven molecular machines that could be used on a global scale to store solar energy by splitting water into its elemental components, hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that could be used directly or combined with carbon dioxide to produce methanol, a liquid fuel. We are working on rugged light absorbers and catalysts made from Earth abundant...

Carbon Capture and Storage: What Are the Big Issues and Opportunities for Future Energy Resources?

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can make significant cuts in Greenhouse Gas emissions and will need to be part of the forward planning for developing future global energy resources. CCS technology comprises a number of steps: 1) CO2 is captured at the source (e.g., a power plant or gas production facility); 2) the captured CO2 is compressed to a supercritical state and transported, typically via pipeline, from the source to the geologic storage site; 3) the CO2 is injected via...

Materials - The Technology Barrier to Advanced Batteries for Energy Storage

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: Energy storage is the enabling technology for renewable energy, such as wind and solar, and particularly for the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). If long-lived, low cost and safe batteries are to be developed, the materials limitations must be overcome. Intercalation is the predominant reaction mechanism in rechargeable batteries in use today. Intercalation processes, unlike conversion reactions, allow for fast ionic motion...

Energy Supplies and Climate

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: An accurate estimate of the long-term production of oil, gas, and coal would be helpful for the ongoing policy discussion of alternatives to fossil fuels and climate change. It takes a long time to develop energy infrastructure, and this means that it matters whether we have burned 20% of our oil, gas, and coal, or 40%. In modeling future temperature and sea-level rise, the carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the most important factor. The time frame for the climate response...

Diminishing Hype of So-called "Clean Coal": Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) in the U.S. Context

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: As the coal-reliant countries of the world have been increasingly forced to consider reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to mitigate climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) has emerged as a technology with critically important political influence. Visions of so-called "clean" coal-fired power plants that will not emit CO2 into the atmosphere have provided powerful motivation for large public and private investments in CCS. The scale of CO2 emission reductions deemed...

Change Is Inevitable, Except from a Vending Machine: The Dynamics of U.S. Energy Efficiency Politics and the Case of Residential Appliances

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: This talk looks at how energy politics change over time and the factors that influence how struggles over energy play out. I start out by building on two competing theories from environmental sociology that provide political economic explanations of environmental degradation and improvement: ecological modernization (EMT) and treadmill of production (TOP). Ecological modernization theory predicts that as capitalist nations develop the environment will improve. Treadmill of...

The Economics just aren't there: Towards a Model of Wind Energy Industry Development in Industrial and Emerging Economies

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: Through the development and analysis of in-depth case studies of the emergence of wind power industries in industrialized and emerging economies, a model of sustainable energy industry development is proposed. The model demonstrates that fundamental economic indicators are insufficient for explaining new industry development. Environmental, institutional and cultural factors idiosyncratic to individual jurisdictions play important roles in the emergence of renewable energy...

U.S. Wind Energy Challenges and Opportunities

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Robert Gramlich is Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the American Wind Energy Association, the national trade association of approximately 2,500 entities involved in all aspects of wind energy production, based in Washington D.C. Rob joined AWEA in 2005 and now leads the association’s strategic initiatives related to federal and state legislation, industry information and analysis, and regulatory policy. He has published articles on wind integration, carbon taxes, market power...

Progress towards Third Generation Solar Energy Conversion: Can Quantum Dot Solar Cells exceed the Shockley-Queisser Limit?

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: Power conversion efficiency is one of the most important parameters that can directly affect the overall cost of a PV installation. In the Shockley-Queisser detailed balanced analysis, the power conversion efficiency is limited to ~33% for a single light absorbing layer. The major energy loss occurs from the excess photon energy, energy greater than the semiconductor bandgap, which is lost as heat through electron-phonon coupling and subsequent phonon relaxation and energy...

Using Renewable Hybrid Power Systems to Meet Off-Grid Community and Commercial Energy Needs

submitted by: RASEIBoulder
Summary: Diesel generators are the traditional means by which people generate electricity in remote locations. Throughout the world, there are many thousands of off-grid communities, industrial sites, and government facilities relying entirely on diesel generated electricity. At $4/gallon, the fuel component alone of diesel-generated electricity is high, about $0.30/kWh. Some remote locations pay over $8/gallon or $0.60/kWh. With diesel fuel prices projected to rise even higher in the long...