The technical, social, and political issues surrounding energy management and use in the West, using California, Nevada, and Arizona as a field laboratory. Students explore energy narratives, such as: Who supplies our energy and from what sources? How is it transported? Who distributes to users and how do they do it? Water for energy and energy for water, two intertwined natural resources. Meeting carbon emission goals by 2020. Conflicts between desert ecosystems and renewable energy development. Emphasis on renewable energy sources and the water-energy nexus. Central to the course is field exploration in northern and southern California, as well as neighboring areas in Arizona and Nevada, to tour sites such as wind and solar facilities, geothermal plants, hydropower pumped storage, desalination plants, water pumping stations, a liquid fuels distribution operations center, and California's Independent System Operator. Students meet with community members and with national, state, and regional authorities to discuss Western energy challenges and viable solutions. Site visits to Stanford's new energy facilities. Introduction to the basics of energy and energy politics through discussions, lectures, and with the help of guest speakers. Assigned readings, online interactive materials, and relevant recent news articles. Participants return to Stanford by September 19. Travel expenses during the course provided (except incidentals) by the Bill Lane Center for the American West and Sophomore College.
Academic Year: