Seminar - 09052014

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Maximizing the Potential of Renewable Energy

September 5, 2014
ME Lecture Hall

Dr. Dan Arvizu

Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 



As the global demand for energy increases, the alternatives to meet demand must reflect an expanding portfolio of options. While global investment in renewable energy slowed through the end of 2013 and early 2014, technology costs continued to decline and some sectors, mainly PV, saw record installations. Further, recent research and analysis point to a significantly greater potential for renewable and efficiency technologies to impact energy demand than was previously thought possible. While we have already made significant progress toward our energy goals, it has become clear that a systems-level perspective is crucial. This perspective includes how to integrate increased efficiency and renewable energy into existing systems. Capturing this potential requires technologies, policy and markets to work together. It also will rely on innovation in next-generation clean energy technologies to meet the growing need. Variable renewables, in particular, have achieved significant penetration in many countries, and issues associated with grid integration are increasingly gaining attention among a broad range of stakeholders.


Dan E. Arvizu became the eighth Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on January 15, 2005. NREL is the Department of Energy's primary laboratory for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Alliance). Dr. Arvizu is President of Alliance and also is an Executive Vice President with the MRIGlobal, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Arvizu was the chief technology officer with CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd. Before joining CH2M he was an executive with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He started his career and spent four years at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories.

In 2011, Dr. Arvizu was appointed by President Obama to a second six-year term on the National Science Board, the governing board of the National Science Foundation and the national science policy advisory body to the President and the Congress. He is presently serving as Chairman. Dr. Arvizu serves on a number of boards, panels and advisory committees including the American Council on Renewable Energy Advisory Board, the Singapore Energy International Advisory Panel, the Colorado Renewable Energy Authority Board of Directors, and the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy Advisory Council. He is Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

He has a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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