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News Release

October 30, 2008

Contact:

Tammy Goodall, Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency: (650) 724-7296, tammy.goodall@stanford.edu


Mark Shwartz, Woods Institute for the Environment: (650) 723-9296, mshwartz@stanford.edu


Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency awards new round of faculty research grants

The Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency has awarded its second round of competitive research grants to members of the Stanford faculty. Seven proposals will receive a total of $824,000 in seed grants over the next year for projects designed to promote energy-efficient behaviors and technologies.

"Our objective is to radically improve energy efficiency within a decade," said John P. Weyant, deputy director of the institute. "We're confident that the seven projects we've funded will have that kind of payoff."

The institute's steering committee received 12 proposals from researchers in the Graduate School of Business and the schools of Medicine, Engineering and Humanities and Sciences, Weyant said. "It's a very diversified group of faculty from across the campus and includes two projects with partners in India and Korea," he said.

The following seven projects will receive funding from the institute:

Increasing Energy Efficiency Behaviors Among Adolescents: A randomized, controlled trial designed to assess a school-based program to increase energy-efficiency behaviors among ninth graders. Principal investigator: Thomas Robinson (Pediatrics and Medicine).

An Incentive Mechanism for Reducing Congestion-Related Costs in Transportation Systems: A pilot project to reduce road congestion in Bangalore, India, by modifying commuter-driving patterns. Principal investigator: Balaji Prabhakar (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science).

An Integrated Conceptual Design Process for Energy, Thermal Comfort and Daylighting: A proposal to develop a computer model that helps architects and engineers streamline the process of designing sustainable buildings. Principal investigator: John Haymaker (Civil and Environmental Engineering).

Appliance Efficiency and Long-Run Energy Demand: A study of how people make decisions about appliance purchases and the effect that these choices have on energy demand. Principal investigator: Matthew Harding (Economics).

Measuring Travel/Driving Behavior Modification Through Real-Time Fuel Consumption Information and Incentive/Disincentive Transportation Programs: A parallel study with three Korean universities to determine to what extent dashboard mileage gauges and other behavior modification techniques improve driver efficiency. Principal investigator: Samuel Chiu (Management Science and Engineering).

Novel Materials and Packaging for Thermoelectric Waste-Heat Recovery in Building and Transportation Systems: A proposal to design more efficient thermoelectric generators, which capture waste-heat from combustion to generate electricity. Principal investigator: Kenneth Goodson (Mechanical Engineering).

Evaluating Design Options for Two U.S. Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Developing computer models to assess a potential carbon "cap-and-trade" program and limit greenhouse gas emissions in light-duty vehicles. Principal investigator: Lawrence Goulder (Economics).

The institute plans to call for a third round of faculty grant proposals later this year.

Established in 2006, the Precourt Institute promotes technologies, systems and practices that are energy efficient and economical. Research at the institute focuses on six core areas: buildings, transportation, energy systems, behavior, economic modeling and policy.

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Comment:

John Weyant, Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency: (650) 723-3506, weyant@stanford.edu

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