Widespread Adoption of Renewable Energy: Challenges and R&D Opportunities

Jeffrey S. Nelson, Solar Technologies Department - Energy and Infrastructure Futures Group, Sandia National Laboratories

Friday, February 22, 2008, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

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MP3 (25 MB)

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Increased energy security, decreased dependence on fossil fuels, improved energy efficiencies, and reduction in CO2 emissions are primary drivers for future DOE/DOD military installations and civilian energy infrastructures. These goals suggest a greater reliance on centralized and distributed renewable energy (RE). As the RE content of our energy infrastructure increases, serious issues associated with availability and reliability of our electricity emerge. Because of this, new technologies will need to be developed to convert, route, and store diverse sources of energy. In this presentation, I will discuss these challenges and highlight R&D opportunities in solar electric, wind, geothermal, and solar fuels.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson received his Ph.D. in theoretical solid-state theory from the University of California, Davis. In 1987 he joined the theoretical materials science group at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore. At Sandia Livermore, Jeff developed and applied advanced electronic structure methods to understand semiconductor surfaces and interfaces. In 1989 Jeff joined the semiconductor physics group at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, where he pioneered the use of massively parallel computers to predict the electronic and optical properties of semiconductor interfaces, surfaces and alloys. Much of his work focused on understanding the fundamental properties of phosphide- and nitride-based visible lighting emitting compound semiconductors. In 1996, Jeff was promoted to manager of the Semiconductor Materials and Device Department, and developed world-class research and development efforts in compound semiconductors, and nanoscale synthesis, characterization and modeling of advanced materials. His group was the first to demonstrate high power UV light emitting diodes in the 350-380nm range, with applications in chemical sensing and white light generation. Jeff joined Uniroyal Optoelectronics (UOE) as the Chief Technology Officer in 2000, where he developed R&D and manufacturing operations in Tampa, Florida. After leaving UOE, Jeff was a consulted to the Department of Energy on the Solid-State Lighting Initiative, and co-founded Medical Lighting Solutions, a newly established business focused on medical applications of LED technology. Currently, Jeff is managing the Solar Technologies Department at Sandia National Laboratories. Jeff has authored over 50 scientific papers, and was one of the original authors of the white paper outlining the need for a National Lighting Initiative focused on realizing energy efficient LED-based white light technology.