Stanford University Energy Resources Engineering Department
Director, Precourt Institute for Energy
Transforming energy in the twenty-first century
Wednesday — February 13, 2013
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.
Energy use is fundamental to modern societies and a primary way we humans interact with climate, ocean pH, and many other natural systems that provide essential services. It is time to change the energy mix to reduce those impacts. An important first step is to make our energy use much more efficient than it is currently. There is good evidence that considerable progress can be made here, with negative amortized costs in many cases. But efficiency alone is not enough. We will also need to change the way we convert primary energy resources into energy services, and there is a real need for energy innovation. Estimates of available energy resources indicate that there is no shortage of energy available for our use. The challenge is to convert it at costs that are within reason, with sources of supply that are secure, and with impacts that protect essential natural systems. Options for doing that, and the research required to make it possible, are considered in this talk.
Lynn Orr is the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering and Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University. He served as Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford from 1994 to 2002 and Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2009. He joined Stanford in 1985 after prior employment at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Shell Development Company in Houston, and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. from Stanford University, both in Chemical Engineering.
Dr. Orr is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Board of Directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and he chairs the Advisory Panel for the Packard Foundation Fellows in Science and Engineering. He and his students work on mathematical models used to calculate how fluids flow in the rocks in the Earth’s crust. He and his colleagues at Precourt Institute for Energy are working to find ways to supply the energy the world needs to support modern societies and at the same time to limit the emission of greenhouse gases and other environmental impacts associated with energy supply and use.