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Stanford's Precourt Energy Efficiency Center awards new round of research grants

The Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) at Stanford University has awarded its third round of competitive research grants. Six proposals will receive a total of $493,011 in seed funding over the next year for projects designed to promote energy-efficient behaviors and technologies.

"We were careful to select projects that could have a big, short-run impact on energy use through energy-efficiency improvements," said PEEC Deputy Director John Weyant, a professor (research) of management science and engineering, and senior fellow, by courtesy, at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment. "To the extent that impact could be transferred around the world so much the better, because a lot of the increases in energy consumption and carbon emissions in coming decades will occur in developing countries."

The following six projects will receive funding for one year:

Evaluating Alternative Design Options for Federal Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Tax Policies: Comparing the effectiveness of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with a carbon tax versus a cap-and-trade program. Principal investigator: Lawrence Goulder, economics.

Improving Energy Efficiency of High-Rises Through Requirements-Driven Parametric Modeling: Developing a software tool that will allow architects to evaluate multiple energy-efficient design options for high-rise buildings. Principal investigators: John Haymaker, civil and environmental engineering, and Vladimir Bazjanac, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Supply Chain Design Under Uncertain Production and Transportation Costs (Influenced by Climate and Energy Policy): Designing low-energy sustainable supply chains for manufacturers of solar cells, wind turbines and other "green industries." Principal investigator: Erica Plambeck, Graduate School of Business and the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Serious Games and Energy Use Behavior: Creating online multiplayer computer games that encourage participants to change their decisions about energy consumption. Principal investigator: Byron Reeves, communication.

Intertemporal Incentives for Carbon Abatement: Developing financial incentives that lead to more energy-efficient cap-and-trade systems. Principal investigator: Thomas Weber, management science and engineering.

A Randomized Intervention Field Experiment to Reduce Home Energy Use: Determining the most effective strategies for presenting home energy information to consumers so that they change their behavior and reduce energy use.  Principal investigator: Greg Walton, psychology.

Established in 2006, PEEC promotes technologies, systems and practices that are energy efficient and economical. Research at the center focuses on six core areas: buildings, transportation, energy systems, behavior, economic modeling and policy. PEEC is one of three interdisciplinary research centers in the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford.