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Throughout the academic year, GCEP holds seminars on the Stanford campus featuring guest speakers discussing technologies related to energy and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
2014 Seminars

Vijay Modi Professor Vijay Modi
Mechanical Engineering and Earth Institute, Columbia University

What is Energy Access? A tangle of technologies and yet few options for the poor
Monday, May 12, 2014
Stanford University
Flyer (pdf)

Abstract: Looking at multiple different landscapes in sub-Saharan Africa, an architecture of energy poverty emerges.  The diversity of energy demands, geography and regionally varied resource endowments presents many options. Yet the ability to use energy in a convenient, flexible and scalable form, whether for cooking or transport or electricity, has eluded hundreds of millions. Results from energy expenditure and use, along with a way to think about off-grid, mini-grid and grid options will be presented. Some recent work in mini-grids as a bridge from stand-alone approaches or as a bridge to grid will also be described.

Data from 17 mini-grids deployed in two countries with hundreds of consumers are shining light on tradeoffs between cost, reliability, generation and storage sizing and the future of dynamically allocating power and energy amongst diverse consumers. As these deployments provide a unique understanding of consumer behavior, demand for energy, and business models for deploying energy solutions and energy efficiency,  technological challenges will be illustrated. Some implications of the large natural gas finds in Africa will also be discussed.

Bio: Professor Vijay Modi received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984 and after being at MIT from 1984 to 1986 joined Columbia University. His areas of expertise are energy resources and conversion technologies. Modi's particular thematic and geographic areas of focus are energy access and the nexus of food/water/energy in developing countries. His Sustainable Engineering Lab has been responsible for technologies such as "SharedSolar,"  tools such as "Network Planner" and a free open-source app called Formhub, used for over two million field surveys. During 2011-2012, he was a member of the U.N. Secretary General's High-Level Task Force on "Sustainable Energy for All" and currently leads the Sustainable Development Solutions Network working group on Energy Access for All.

Vijay Swarup Dr. Vijay Swarup
Corporate Strategic Research Manager
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040
January 22, 2014
Green Earth Sciences Building 365

Abstract: Our world runs on energy – it's fundamental to our way of life and growing our economy. But as the world changes, global and regional energy landscapes will continue to evolve and transform. Providing reliable and affordable energy to support human progress -- safely and with minimum impact on the environment -- is an on-going challenge around the world. The scale and nature of this challenge is readily apparent in ExxonMobil's Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, which provides a long-term global forecast of energy supply and demand trends. This talk will examine the key findings from the Outlook about how we use energy, how much we will need in the future and what types of fuels will meet demand.

Bio: Dr. Vijay Swarup joined the company in 1987 as an engineer at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Clinton, N.J. Over his career, he has progressed through a variety of engineering, planning and managerial roles at company locations in Redwater, Alberta, Canada; Baytown, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Houston, Texas and Fairfax, Virginia.

In 2006, he became the Global Technology Planning Manager for ExxonMobil Chemical. In 2008, he was appointed Global Olefins Marketing Manager for ExxonMobil Chemical Company. He moved from Houston, Texas, to Fairfax, Virginia, in 2010 to become vice president of Basestocks, Specialties and Asphalt for ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties Company. He was appointed manager of Planning and Business Development for ExxonMobil Chemical in April, 2012.

In April 2013, Dr. Swarup was appointed to his current position as Corporate Strategic Research Manager, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.



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