Pre-Conference Events (No Registration Needed)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | New Haven, CT

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Technological Innovations For a Secure Energy Future in a World Confronted by Climate Change

Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC, Director, TERI, and Director, YCEI

Location: 9 Hillhouse Ave, Dunham Engineering Student Center

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | New Haven, CT

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Technology and Our Emerging Energy Crisis


Solutions to clean energy production are found at the nexus of science, policy, and industry. Understanding the potentials and limitations of emerging energy technologies, as well as the underlying science, is necessary for sound regulatory oversight and industrial-scale production.

Three short presentations by Yale Ph.D. student experts on Bioenergy, Batteries, and Solar Fuels were presented on the most recent technological advances at Yale and beyond. Panel discussions addressed if today’s technologies have the potential to solve our energy crisis, which technologies are most likely to succeed, and how policy and industry need to be structured to move forward.


Ph.D. Candidate Kyle Bibby: Genetics and Bioenergy

Ph.D. Candidate James Blakemore: Solar Fuels

Ph.D. Candidate Forrest Gittleson: Energy Storage and Batteries

Location: 9 Hillhouse Ave, Dunham Engineering Student Center

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | New Haven, CT

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Kick-off Event and Reception

Three Yale professors will present an overview of their research in relation to the three topics of the YCEI Annual Conference 2011:


Professor Jordan Peccia: Genetics and Bioenergy

Professor Peccia is an associate professor of environmental engineering at Yale University. His research group applies classical and molecular biology to solve environmental problems. His current research thrusts on energy technology include the development of functional genomic approaches for controlling microalgae growth in biodiesel production.

Professor Gary Brudvig: Solar Fuels

Professor Brudvig is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry and Deputy Director of the YCEI. The research aim of his group is to define how nature has solved the problem of efficient light-driven, four-electron oxidation of water to elemental oxygen and to use this understanding to develop new artificial processes for solar energy conversion.

Professor Andre Taylor: Energy Storage and Batteries

Professor Taylor is an assistant professor of chemical engineering. His research group focuses on the design and assembly of systems to develop self-assembled polymer nanocomposites for use as active layers in organic solar cells, fuel cells, and batteries.

The discussion will be moderated by Gary Moore, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Yale University

Location: 195 Prospect Street, Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall


Conference Events (Registration Required)

Friday, April 8, 2011 | New Haven, CT

6:30pm - 7:30pm

Joint keynote session with Yale Alumni in Energy (YAE)

David Lawrence, Executive Vice President, Exploration & Commercial, Shell Upstream Americas
Location: Levinson Auditorium, Yale Law School

The second annual conference of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute begins Friday evening with a Joint Plenary Session with the Yale Alumni in Energy (YAE) featuring a Keynote Presentation by Dave Lawrence (Executive Vice President Exploration, Shell Americas Exploration). The YAE is a group of alumni from Yale College and the graduate and professional schools at Yale who share an interest in energy.

Saturday, April 9, 2011 | New Haven, CT

7:45am - 8:45am

Registration/ Coffee/ Research Posters

Room 122/ Dining Hall/ Room 120

8:45am - 9:00am

Opening Remarks — Rajendra Pachauri

Levinson Auditorium

9:00am - 9:30am

Genetics and Bioenergy

Levinson Auditorium

The first generation of biofuels focused on the production of ethanol through the fermentation of sugar from corn and sugar cane, as well as biodiesel production through the transesterification of oil from rapeseed. Both costly and disruptive to food supply, these biofuels have become increasingly unattractive alternatives to petroleum-based fuels. Consequently, a new generation of bioenergy is emerging that applies biochemical and thermo-chemical processes to efficiently produce a wide range of clean, renewable fuels from non-food crops. This session explores the opportunities and challenges to the engineering of new metabolic routes and more efficient microbial systems for biofuel production. Panelists will discuss which advanced biofuels hold the most promise and speak to the integration of functional genomics with systems biology, synthetic biology and metabollic engineering.

Science Keynote: Genetics and Bioenergy

Anastasios Melis, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
     Photosynthesis for Hydrogen and Isoprene Production

9:45am - 10:30am

Industry Panel: Genetics and Bioenergy

Levinson Auditorium

Moderator: Martin LaMonica, Science Writer, CNET News

Panel speakers:

Noubar Afeyan, Managing Partner and CEO, Flagship Ventures

Juan Enriquez, Managing Director, Excel Venture Management

Michael McAdams, President, Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA)

10:30am - 10:45am

Coffee Break/ Research Posters

Room 120

10:50am - 11:20am

Solar Fuels

Levinson Auditorium

Most renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, and solar hot water heaters, provide only electricity and/or heat. Solar fuel refers to a series of processes designed to directly or indirectly convert sunlight, arguably the ultimate renewable energy resource, into fuel. Produced fuel is typically hydrogen. In a direct solar-to-fuels approach, light-absorbing reactions and catalysis of water oxidation and proton reduction are accomplished from a single device. Alternatively, indirect solar fuel production converts solar energy into electrical potential energy, which is fed into a water electrolysis device in order to split water and produce hydrogen. This panel assesses the science surrounding solar fuels production, in addition to how the costs of solar fuels, particularly against other solar energy technologies, will limit or promote the technologies expansion.

Science Keynote: Solar Fuels

Nate Lewis, Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology
     Hydrogen Production from Inorganic Simulation of Photosystem II  

11:30am - 12:15pm

Industry Panel: Solar Fuels

Levinson Auditorium

Moderator: Matthew Nordon, Vice President, Venrock Investments

Panel Speakers:

Josef Eichhammer, President and COO, Solar Trust of America; CEO, Solar Millennium

Robert Friedland, President and CEO, Proton Energy Systems

12:15pm - 1:15pm

Lunch/ Research Posters

Dining Hall/ Room 120

1:15pm - 1:45pm

The Future of Batteries and Energy Storage
Levinson Auditorium

The promise of electric vehicles, renewable energy, and overall cleaner energy systems requires cheap and abundant energy storage. This panel examines recent advances in batteries against other storage technologies for multiple applications, including transportation, power system, and commercial energy use. Research to improve ultracapacitors, develop energy-dense lithium-ion and metallic lithium systems, and apply nanotechnology to production processes require critical advancements if low-cost batteries are to be commercially competitive against additional electricity supply, such as new power plants or power pooling networks, and other energy storage technologies, such as fly-wheels and air compression.

Science Keynote: The Future of Batteries and Energy Storage

Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor of Ceramics, MIT; Founder, A123    

    Energy Storage for Transportation and the Electric Grid

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Industry Panel: The Future of Batteries and Energy Storage

Levinson Auditorium

Moderator: Michael Holman, Research Director, Lux Research

Panel speakers:

Alex Bok, Senior Director, Business Development & Government, Boston Power

Karim Kassam, Director, Corporate and Business Development, Ballard Power System

Frank Murray, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

2:45pm - 3:30pm

Coffee Break/Research Posters

Room 120

Prizes will be awarded by a panel of judges to the top poster presenters.

The Research Posters are sponsored by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund

3:30pm - 5:15pm

Roundtable: "Transition to a Post-Fossil Fuel Economy -- How Soon? How Feasible?"

Levinson Auditorium

This roundtable discussion, moderated by ABC News correspondent Bill Blakemore, will address key issues that inhibit and propel the transition to carbon neutral economies, and the consequences if not achieved. How realistic is the expectation for a timely post-fossil transition and what are the political and economic realities? In light of these realities, but given our scientific understanding regarding the consequences of future climate change, what should be the pace of change and the nature of leadership?

Moderator: Bill Blakemore, ABC News Correspondent


Policy (International): Hon. Lykke Friis, Danish Minister of Climate and Energy and Minister of Gender Equality

Policy (U.S.): Hon. Marc Spitzer, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Business (Executive Perspective): Tom Pincince, CEO, Digital Lumens

Business (Investor): Noubar Afeyan, CEO, Flagship Ventures

Science (Federal): Arun Majumdar, Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Department of Energy

Science (Academics): Ernest Moniz, Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, MIT

National Security Perspective: James Woolsey, Former Director, CIA, Chairman, Woolsey Partners LLC and Senior Fellow, Yale's University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

Economics of Climate Science Perspective: Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC; Director, TERI; and Director, YCEI

5:30pm - 6:30pm

Featured Presentation: Constructing a Secure Energy Future: U.S. and European Perspectives

Levinson Auditorium

Hon. Marc SpitzerCommissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Hon. Lykke Friis Danish Minister of Climate and Energy and Minister of Gender Equality

International cooperation is essential for advancing technological innovation. In this spirit, Minister Lykke Friis of Denmark and Commissioner Marc Spitzer of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will provide the conference's closing presentations, "Constructing a Secure Energy Future: U.S. and European Perspectives." Denmark generates approximately 28% of its electricity from renewable energy, and the Danish energy policy model has been widely replicated to promote clean energy development. Pan-European goals are no less ambitious. By 2020, the European Union is consume 20% of its energy from renewable resources, while improving efficiency 20% and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% against a 1990 baseline.

The United States has not yet legislated comprehensive climate policy, but the federal government's multi-billion technology investment programs and a range of state-based climate and clean energy policies are reshaping American energy innovation. President Obama indicated during his most recent State of the Union address that by 2035, 80% of U.S. electricity should come from clean energy sources. Navigating a patchwork of state-level initiatives towards a national clean energy program presents regulatory and investment challenges moving forward. These presentations seek to express the challenges, successes, and lessons learned on each side of the Atlantic.


Closing Remarks — Rajendra Pachauri

Levinson Auditorium

7:00 pm


Dining Hall