LightSpeed Solutions

LightSpeed Solutions

communicates exciting innovations for technologies, business and policy on the roadmap to marketable and sustainable low-carbon transportation options. We are passionate about recycling waste CO2 and redrawing boundaries for sustainable fuels and products.

By utilizing current technologies and solutions such as natural gas, we can capitalize on cheap and abundant resources for the near term and avoid locking in a high-carbon future in the long term. Together we can complete the cycle to overcome our urgent energy and climate challenges with transportation fuels solutions.

The Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinar Series

Anchoring Themes
Register

29 May | 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. PST

Coupling the Electric Power & Transportation Sectors – Beyond Electric Vehicles

TBA

Recycling CO2 to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels

TBA

Challenges and Opportunities in Designing Good Metrics to Assess Promise

TBA

For more information contact Ellen B. Stechel, Managing Director of LightSpeed Solutions, Deputy Director of ASU LightWorks

scalable systems / fostering collaboration / international cooperation / accelerating innovation

The Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinar Series

LightSpeed Solutions at Arizona State University (ASU) LightWorks is hosting The Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Forum, a free four webinar series to engage the range of future fuels stakeholders in online conversations about the future of sustainable transportation fuel production and use.

  • Sustainable Transportation
    Fuels — Anchoring Themes
  • Coupling the Electric Power &
    Transportation Sectors
  • Recycling CO2 to
    Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels
  • Challenges and Opportunities in
    Designing Good Metrics

29 May 2015

10:15 – 11:45 a.m. PST

Register for the webinar

Moderator

Gary Dirks, Director of LightWorks, Arizona State University

Panelists

Paul Bryan, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, UC Berkeley

Sharon Burke, New America Foundation

Kathryn Clay, American Gas Association

Mike Tamor, Ford Motor Company

 

This webinar will set the stage for context with four major anchoring themes relevant to the future of transportation energy and fuels and for which there is currently limited horizontal knowledge integration at the interfaces among relevant stakeholders.

After a brief introduction to lay out the context of market demand uncertainty, this webinar will introduce four anchoring themes to start the discussion and underpin subsequent conversations.

  • What actions will accelerate or impede the transition?
  • Given finite resources, what alternative fuels or fuel processes investments would be prudent to ensure the transition?
  • How do external global megatrends influence the investment decisions?
  • How can innovation be incentivized by policy to help accelerate the transition?
  • Is there a competitive advantage to leading this transition?

These themes will be topics of discussion during this first webinar of the series and will likely surface again in subsequent webinars.

Goal

The goal of this webinar is to start to build new conceptual frameworks and shared frames of reference.

Register for the webinar

Date to be announced.

Overview

There is likely no disagreement that “objective and grounded” is a hard standard to meet when designing metrics to measure and characterize a complex socio-political-techno-economic enterprise, such as the future of transportation energy and fuels. Still, an objective, grounded approach that integrates diverse stakeholder viewpoints and facilitates coordination and responsiveness, begs for measures, even if at times they are qualitative rankings, such as low, medium, high, which all parties respect and understand, and yet may disagree on. Webinar #4 will sound out the participants on considerations and challenges for developing valuable frameworks and appropriately using metrics.

An important consideration to keep in mind is that different stakeholder groups typically have different values and beliefs deriving from different perspectives and needs or wants. It is also difficult, in designing metrics, not to subtly favor the results that we want, either from unconscious biases or by not separating the problem from the solution. A holistic systems view will underpin this discussion of metrics with an objective of surfacing where differing perspectives lead to conflicting metrics or conflicting use of the metrics.

 

Date to be announced.

Overview

The basic story of “electric power to combustible fuels” is that renewable energy technologies, especially at high penetration, will at times produce “low-value electrons” in the open market, creating the potential for arbitrage. Such “electrons” could be stored for use at a different time, stored in battery electric vehicles, or used to produce water (through, for example, reverse osmosis), or used to produce hydrogen, to name a few possibilities. Some of these conversations are happening, especially surrounding battery electric vehicles. However, other conversations are also important. For example, what if many of the electrons divert to the transportation sector, are we accelerating the combined transition or making it more challenging? Are we increasing economic efficiency? Would recycling waste CO2, as a carbon source to produce fuels, facilitate a combined transition, or impede one or the other?

Numerous issues arise with a greater coupling among the sectors, hence situating electric power-to-fuels as a jumping-off point for the following types of more general questions:

  • Do current policy and business frameworks encourage and harness or impede arbitrage possibilities? Is there a need for policy support or will normal market forces suffice?
  • Could increasing communication and awareness at the interfaces among stakeholder groups lead to greater responsiveness of the combined sectors?
  • Are there more business and technology innovations at the intersection of the stationary power and transportation sectors that might add economic efficiency and accelerate the transition? Does envisioned policy actions support or impede such innovations?

Date to be announced.

Overview

Webinar #3 will include the emerging technological possibilities for captured CO2 from waste streams (or directly from the atmosphere) and using it as a pre-concentrated carbon source to produce transportation fuels, which falls in the space of “carbon capture and utilization” (CCU). CO2-to-Fuels is a research trajectory where the policy risks are unknown because of its intersection with complex politics of mitigating the risk of climate change and constructing carbon policy. Some think affordable CO2-to-fuels would be a major feat of science and engineering that is achievable – others question both achievability and the wisdom of a technology that recycles the carbon back to the fuels system.

A conceptual risk is that CO2 is now by law treated as a pollutant leading to a primary focus on two choices, either CO2-free technologies or permanent sequestration. An alternative paradigm is waste management, which suggests adding recycling and reuse and even seeking opportunities for the waste product to be economically profitable and environmentally neutral if the right technologies are developed and deployed in a specific policy environment. The conversation could consider the implications of the impact on creating new options for policy makers to respond to and whether this can create a rapid and economically efficient response to CO2 emission control or slow down the transition by either not permanently sequestering the CO2 or extending the life of high emitters.