Transforming Energy Systems to Address Climate Change

Featuring Lynn Orr

November 21, 2019 | 6:00pm-7:30pm

Mayo Auditorium, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis MN 55455

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering
Event Description

About the lecture

Transforming Energy Systems to Address Climate Change

Energy is the lifeblood of modern societies. Energy services are woven throughout the fabric of modern life, rural or urban, in the developed world. A successful global future energy system will provide energy security, economic security, and health and environmental security. Addressing the challenge of climate change offers an opportunity to make progress on those broad goals with energy technologies that are clean, deployable at large scale, and fully cost competitive. 

Technology improvements have started a transition away from an energy system that is dominated by fossil fuels. Deep reductions in the cost of technologies like solar photovoltaics and wind power generation, increasing energy efficiency, and efforts to modernize the transmission and distribution of electric power, including deployment of energy storage, are reshaping the energy landscape for the United States and the world. Recent progress has been impressive, but there is much more to be done.

This presentation examines options for meeting those challenges, outlines the need for additional energy innovation, and explores research and development pathways that offer important opportunities for continued progress toward those goals. The range of opportunities available to create a clean energy transformation has never been bigger, if we apply in a sustained way what we know how to do now and fill the innovation pipeline for the future.

About the speaker

Lynn Orr headshot photo 200

Franklin "Lynn" Orr (Chemical Engineering Ph.D. '76) is the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum Engineering Emeritus in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University. He served as Under Secretary for Science and Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2014 to 2017. He was director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University from 2009 to 2013, director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2009, and dean of the School of Earth Sciences from 1994 to 2002, all at Stanford. He joined Stanford in 1985 after prior employment at the US Environmental Protection Agency (1970-72), Shell Development Company in Houston (1976-78), and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro (1978-85). 

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. from Stanford University, both in chemical engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves on the boards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the ClimateWorks Foundation.