Lecture Slides

UNIT I: Context and Overview

Lecture 1: Course Overview

Why is clean energy innovation crucial to confronting climate change? And how can America lead global efforts to develop the technologies of the future? This overview lecture will outline the course syllabus and present a recent Foreign Affairs article by Varun Sivaram and Teryn Norris that lays out what Bill Gates calls “one of the best arguments I’ve read for why the United States should invest in an energy revolution.”


Lecture I - Why The World Needs Clean Energy Innovation


Lecture 2/3: Theory of Technological Change

What is technological change, how does it unfold, what drives it, and why is energy a particularly difficult sector to disrupt? This class session will cover: taxonomy of technological change; overview of general purpose technologies and combinatorial evolution of technology; theory of dominant designs and new industry evolution; spillover benefits of research and development and firm incentives to invest across the technology cycle; technology diffusion, pull vs. push drivers of technological change; and the barriers posed to innovation by legacy sectors like energy.

Lecture II - Theory of Technological Change Updated Aug 25 2016


UNIT II: Clean Energy Technologies to Decarbonize the Power Sector

Lecture 4/5: Introduction to Energy and the Power Sector

The key to decarbonizing the world’s energy systems lies in the power sector. This session will introduce basic energy facts and terms, provide an overview of why the power sector is so important to mitigate climate change, and introduce the 20th century model of the power grid in the industrialized world. The lecture will conclude by laying out a vision for a modern, 21st century power system.



Lecture III - Introduction to Energy and the Power Sector


Lecture 6: Wind and Solar Energy

Overview of the wind and solar resources. Basic technical principles of wind energy (including rotors, generators, and power curves) and solar energy (including semiconductors, current-voltage characteristics, system design). Research frontiers in wind and solar technology. Capital and levelized costs of variable renewable energy systems.


Lecture IV - Solar and Wind Energy

Lecture 7: Hydro and Geothermal Energy

Overview of the hydro and geothermal resources; overview of different types of hydropower including run-of-river, pumped storage, conventional dam; water flow through power stations and introduction to turbines; environmental impacts of hydropower; overview of geothermal configurations and thermodynamic cycles; research frontiers including enhanced geothermal systems; economics of baseload and dispatchable renewable energy systems.


Lecture V - Hydro and Geothermal Energy


Lecture 8: Nuclear Power and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration

Introduction to nuclear fission; overview and history of reactor configurations; waste and proliferation considerations; cost trends from 1950s through today; new research frontiers in Generation IV reactors and small modular reactors; overview of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies and research frontiers.

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Dan Stout, Head of Small Modular Reactors, Tennessee Valley Authority (Topic: Nuclear Energy)


161026 Georgetown University - Nuclear Energy Basics



Lecture 8 and three-quarters: Energy Storage

Overview of battery technology, alternative chemistries, and performance metrics; concentrated solar power with thermal storage; flywheels, compressed air, molten salts, and other storage technologies;  the hydrogen economy, including synthesis, storage, transportation, and use in fuel cells or clean fuel production; and storage applications in electric vehicles and power grid stabilization


Lecture VII - Energy Storage


UNIT III: How Markets and Policy Can Accelerate Innovation


Lecture 9: Funding Energy Innovation

How do the various activities that compose innovation get funded? This class session will cover: historical U.S. federal funding for energy R&D; private sector funding including venture capital, institutional, and corporate investment in technologies and companies; the Valley of Death and funding needs beyond R&D.


Lecture VIII - Funding Energy Innovation


Lecture 10: Overcoming Legacy Sector Barriers

Guest Lecturer: Charles Weiss, Distinguished Professor of STIA, Georgetown Univ.


Lecture 10 - Chuck Weiss STIA 402 2016 11 16 for Varun


Lecture 11: Policy Recommendations for Energy Innovation

How can federal and/or state and local governments put together all the pieces that form a national clean energy innovation ecosystem? This class session will cover: national competitiveness; manufacturing and innovation; lessons from other sectors like the military; and policy initiatives to drive private sector innovation.


Lecture X - Policy Recommendations for Energy Innovation



Lecture 12: Innovation Orchards

Guest Lecturer: Bill Bonvillian, Director of MIT DC Office


WBB Georgetown 2016 STIA guest lecture 12 7 2016 #2