Stanford students develop and deploy solutions to energy problems through a new, yearlong course called the Energy Transformation Collaborative (ETC). Led by two consulting professors with decades of business and policy expertise, ETC gives Stanford students hands-on experience interacting with stakeholders.

In its first year, the program comprised two projects. The first explored how to integrate more than 35% of solar and other distributed generation and energy storage resources into electric grids, as well as the ability of customers to reduce consumption when supplies are tight in exchange for discounted electricity rates. The second project designed a transportation system to reduce congestion and environmental impacts, while improving convenience and transit times. Students experimented with transit routing and scheduling, integration of local transport, car sharing, autonomous and electric vehicles, and company incentives for alternative transit.

For 2015-16, ETC will be led by Alexander “Andy” Karsner, visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and former assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dan Arvizu, director and chief executive of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Stefan Heck.