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LightSpeed Solutions

LightSpeed Solutions communicates exciting innovations and thought leaders’ perspectives regarding technologies, policy, social value, business, and commercialization on the journey to marketable and sustainable options for restoring the carbon balance or closing the carbon cycle.

We are passionate about capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, recycling CO2, and addressing CO2 in a waste management paradigm as opposed to a pollution paradigm.

Together we can complete the cycle and restore carbon balance to overcome urgent energy and climate challenges with CO2 as a feedstock for fuels and other products, while disposing what cannot be used profitably.

ASU’s LightSpeed Solutions most recently supported the “Restoring the Carbon Balance” initiative to call attention to removing CO2 directly from air, needed to ultimately meet climate goals.

Stay tuned for future webinar series.

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinars Series

Restoring the Carbon Balance Webinar Series

Restoring the carbon balance group

scalable systems / fostering collaboration / international cooperation / accelerating innovation

Introduction to Restoring the Carbon Balance Webinar Series

What is the carbon budget?

The capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to safely hold excess carbon without too much warming is limited. The situation is growing more urgent. Even after the December 2015 Climate Conference in Paris, it is unlikely that global economies will reduce carbon emissions quickly enough to achieve the goal of limiting the temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

Unless that pace is dramatically accelerated, the planet will almost certainly exceed its “carbon budget” within two decades., This concern has led the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conclude that negative emissions technologies (NETs), which removes CO2 from the air, will be needed to meet climate goals. However, NETs are still in the research, development or demonstration stages of commercialization and may not be ready in time, or feasible at the necessary scale.

Arizona State University (ASU) and the ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) is spearheading a campaign to develop a coalition of influential research, policy and potential funding organizations to speed the development and commercialization of technologies that can balance the carbon budget and open discussions about supportive policies and economic incentives. Researchers at ASU are tackling energy-related challenges ranging from renewable energy alternatives to the effects of climate change on the population. Our research combines ASU’s strengths in use-inspired energy resource science that sits at the interface of policy making affecting real change in the global race to energy efficiency and sustainability.

Restoring the Carbon Balance Webinar Series

Restoring the Carbon Balance – Webinar 1: The Imperative

Thursday, December 15, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EST


Restoring the Carbon Balance – The budget imperative from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

Download the PDF of the webinar presentation by clicking this link

The first webinar in the series explores the limited capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to safely hold excess carbon without too much warming and reviews technology alternatives and social considerations.

The two subsequent webinars will discuss the research investment proposition for the range of Negative Emission Technologies and address the policy, regulatory and economic considerations needed for these disruptive technologies to be scalable in the 20 year timeframe.

We are seeking partner organizations and institutions interested in co-hosting the webinar series and/or willing to invest in balancing the carbon budget. We welcome your feedback on this initiative and are eager to discuss collaborations to further support these emerging technologies.

Moderator

David Biello, Science Curator at TED Talks and former Scientific American Energy and Environment Editor

Panelists

Jeffrey Sachs, World-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist

Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester

John Shepherd, Emeritus Professor of Earth System Science within the Ocean and Earth Science Department of the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Science, University of Southampton at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton and a Fellow of the Royal Society

Restoring the Carbon Balance – Webinar 2: The Technologies Needed

February 1, 2017
1:00 pm -2:30 pm EST


Restoring the Carbon Budget – Policies and Financing Options from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

Download the PDF of the Restoring the Carbon Balance – Webinar 2 presentation by clicking this link

Arizona State University’ Global Institute of Sustainability and the Security and Sustainability Forum in the second of a three part series on “Restoring the Carbon Budget” addressed the NETS technologies and the status of the research to develop and commercialize them.

In this recording of a conversation with Klaus Lackner, Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, discussed the topic of carbon accounting. Klaus has a talent for making complex science topics understandable. Want to understand more about the importance of a carbon accounting system to restoring the carbon balance? Listen in to the interview.

Moderator:

Joel Makower, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group Inc., creator of GreenBiz.com as well as research reports and events on the corporate sustainability strategy and trends, will moderate the session. Joel hosts the annual GreenBiz Forums and VERGE conferences around the world and is author of the annual State of Green Business report.

Panelist:

Eric Hanson is a senior research faculty member with the Energy Systems Analysis Group at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. His research interests include engineering, economic, and policy-related assessments of advanced clean-energy technologies and processes using carbonaceous fuels (biomass, coal, natural gas), especially for addressing energy-related problems in developing countries.

Klaus Lackner, Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University. Klaus’s research interests includes closing the carbon cycle by capturing carbon dioxide from the air, carbon sequestration and carbon foot-printing, among other areas.

Susan Hovorka, Economic Geology Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Her current research focuses on an assessment of the effectiveness of subsurface geologic sequestration of CO2 as a mechanism for reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions.

Restoring the Carbon Balance – Webinar 3: Policies and Financing

May 11, 2017
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST


Summary – Webinar 3, on May 11, will examine policies, political approaches and funding options that can facilitate investment in RD&D needed to accelerate the pace of commercialization of carbon removal, storage and utilization technologies.

Moderator

Andy Revkin, senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica. He joined the Independent public-interest newsroom in December 2016, after 21 years of writing for The New York Times. He has won most of the top awards in science journalism, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s John Chancellor Award for sustained journalistic excellence and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award.

Panelists

Klaus Lackner, Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University. Klaus’s research interests includes closing the carbon cycle by capturing carbon dioxide from the air, carbon sequestration and carbon foot-printing, among other areas.

Noah Deich, Director of the Center for Carbon Removal will examine regulatory and policy barriers and opportunities to provide incentives for investment in carbon management technologies.

Fatima Ahmad, Solutions Fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions who will discuss her recent work on financing opportunities and policy development for energy technologies, including carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS).

Restoring the Carbon Balance – Webinar 4: Policies and Financing

June 8, 2017
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. EST


Download the PDF of the webinar presentation by clicking this link

Building on decades of work across the globe by the public and private sectors, has a shared global climate ethos — a sense of collective commitment and common purpose — reached a tipping point?

  • Are the Paris Agreement and the growing number of cities adopting carbon-based energy goals evidence of that? How durable are these actions?
  • Is a sense of common purpose sustainable without US federal government coordination and leadership? What roles do sub-national and municipal governments play?
  • How can business, security, religious, and civil society actors continue and even accelerate efforts to reduce emissions? Can they work together to avoid the worst climate impacts?
  • Is the global commitment to climate solutions shallow or deep?
  • How can moral, scientific and political imperatives find common ground?
  • Does the global climate ethos include extracting, storing and reusing carbon already in the atmosphere?
  • Where do opportunities for collaborative innovation exist?

Join Arizona State University and global governance, business, science, policy and faith leaders in a 90 minute webinar to explore the depth and breadth of a global climate ethos and the direction of plausible, innovative climate action emerging across sectors and among global societies.

This webinar will convene leaders in a public conversation that touches on these critical questions and that can inspire local conversations and ideas to advance cross-sectoral collaborations.

We’ll also share resources to support a climate ethos dialogue in your community.

Moderator

Elisabeth Graffy, Professor, Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University

Panelists

Janos Pasztor, Senior Fellow and Executive Director, Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative C2G2

Alice C. Hill, Research Fellow, the Hoover Institution

Katharine Hayhoe, Scientist and Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

Introduction to the Sustainable Fuel Webinar Series

In partnership with ASU-LightWorks® and LightSpeed Solutions at Arizona State University, SSF hosted a four webinar series about the future of Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels. Although it is difficult to predict what transportation energy will look like in 2050, investments made now will frame that future.

The goal of this four-part webinar series is to open up the conversation and draw attention to what near term actions in the next five to 20 years regarding future transportation might accelerate the transition toward sustainability, increase the economic efficiency of that transition, and minimize barriers that impede the transition or that make the transition more costly.

Click on the video or download the slides from each of the archived webinars to learn more.

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinars Series

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinar 1: Sustainable Transportation Fuels — Anchoring Themes

May 29, 2015
10:15 – 11:45 a.m. PDT


Download the PDF of the webinar presentation by clicking this link

This webinar creates context with four major anchoring themes relevant to the future of transportation energy and fuels for which there is currently limited horizontal knowledge integration at the interfaces among relevant stakeholders. Watch and listen to the entire webinar below.

After a brief introduction, this webinar introduces four anchoring themes to start the discussion and underpin subsequent conversations.

What actions will accelerate or impede the transition?

  • Given finite resources, what alternative fuels or fuel processes investments would be prudent to ensure the transition?
  • How do external global megatrends influence the investment decisions?
  • How can innovation be incentivized by policy to help accelerate the transition?
  • Is there a competitive advantage to leading this transition?

These themes will likely surface again in subsequent webinars.

Goal

The goal of this webinar is to start to build new conceptual frameworks and shared frames of reference.

Moderator

Gary Dirks, Director, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University and Director, ASU LightWorks®

Panelists

Paul Bryan, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, UC Berkeley

Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor, International Security Program and Resource Security Program at New America Foundation

Kathryn Clay, Vice President, Policy Strategy at the American Gas Association

Mike Tamor, Executive Technical Leader, Ford Motor Company

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinar 2: Coupling the Electric Power & Transportation Sectors

June 30, 2015
10:15-11:45 a.m. PDT


Download the PDF of the webinar presentation by clicking this link

Overview

The basic story of “electric power to combustible fuels” is that renewable energy technologies, especially at high penetration, will at times produce “low-value electrons” in the open market, creating the potential for arbitrage. Such “electrons” could be stored for use at a different time, stored in battery electric vehicles, or used to produce water (through, for example, reverse osmosis), or used to produce hydrogen, to name a few possibilities. Some of these conversations are happening, especially surrounding battery electric vehicles. However, other conversations are also important. For example, what if many of the electrons divert to the transportation sector, are we accelerating the combined transition or making it more challenging? Are we increasing economic efficiency? Would recycling waste CO2, as a carbon source to produce fuels, facilitate a combined transition, or impede one or the other?

Numerous issues arise with a greater coupling among the sectors, hence situating electric power-to-fuels as a jumping-off point for the following types of more general questions:

  • Do current policy and business frameworks encourage and harness or impede arbitrage possibilities? Is there a need for policy support or will normal market forces suffice?
  • Could increasing communication and awareness at the interfaces among stakeholder groups lead to greater responsiveness of the combined sectors?
  • Are there more business and technology innovations at the intersection of the stationary power and transportation sectors that might add economic efficiency and accelerate the transition? Does envisioned policy actions support or impede such innovations?

Moderator

Clark Miller, Senior Sustainability Scientist, Energy, Society and Policy Initiative at Arizona State University

Panelists

Robin Beavers, Senior Vice President and Founder, Station A Group at NRG Energy

Dawn Manley, Sandia National Laboratories

Marc Melaina, Senior Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Levi Tillemann, Jeff Leonard Fellow, New America Foundation

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels Webinar 4: Challenges and Opportunities in Designing Good Metrics

July 28, 2015
10:15-11:45 a.m. PDT


Download the PDF of the webinar presentation by clicking this link

Future of Sustainable Transportation Fuels – Challenges and Opportunities for Designing Good Metrics from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

Overview

There is likely no disagreement that “objective and grounded” is a hard standard to meet when designing metrics to measure and characterize a complex socio-political-techno-economic enterprise, such as the future of transportation energy and fuels. Still, an objective, grounded approach that integrates diverse stakeholder viewpoints and facilitates coordination and responsiveness, begs for measures, even if at times they are qualitative rankings, such as low, medium, high, which all parties respect and understand, and yet may disagree on. Webinar #4 will sound out the participants on considerations and challenges for developing valuable frameworks and appropriately using metrics.

An important consideration to keep in mind is that different stakeholder groups typically have different values and beliefs deriving from different perspectives and needs or wants. It is also difficult, in designing metrics, not to subtly favor the results that we want, either from unconscious biases or by not separating the problem from the solution. A holistic systems view will underpin this discussion of metrics with an objective of surfacing where differing perspectives lead to conflicting metrics or conflicting use of the metrics.

Moderator

Director, Gary Dirks, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University and Director, ASU LightWorks®

Panelists

Cheryl Martin, Founder, Harwich Partners and previous Deputy Director for Commercialization of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) at the US Department of Energy

Eric Miller, Program Manager, Hydrogen Production Delivery at the US Department of Energy

Andrew Maynard, Professor, in the School for Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University

Louise Vickery, Manager, Renewable Futures at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency

James Hinkley, Research Group Leader, CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency


Contact

Ellen Stechel
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Deputy Director, LightWorks®
Managing Director, LightSpeed Solutions
Professor of Practice, School of Molecular Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
480-965-1657
ellen.stechel@asu.edu

Edward Saltzberg
Founder and President of ERS Advisors