Stanford University

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ere seminar: yixing xu, phd (gates ventures) | modeling a clean energy future for the united states

monday, nov 16, 2020 1:00 pm
virtual meeting via zoom (see login details in description)
more info:
ere seminar: yixing xu, phd (gates ventures) | modeling a clean energy future f…
faculty/staff, students, alumni/friends
energy resources engineering

yixing xu, phd | breakthrough energy sciences at gates ventures

modeling a clean energy future for the united states

the united states power grid will have to undergo a radical transformation for the deep decarbonization necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. to help guide the consideration of the plethora of options for how to conduct this transformation, the breakthrough energy sciences team is working to develop, validate, and publish high-resolution models of the u.s. grid, capable of investigating a variety of future grid configurations. to demonstrate the utility of these models, we investigate how to meet the current 2030 clean electricity goals, as well as a more ambitious set of goals consistent with deep decarbonization. four designs for a ‘macro grid’ are developed, capable of strengthening the connections between the regions of the grid today; each of these designs is capable of achieving 70% clean electricity via different infrastructure choices. the software architecture used to conduct these studies is also presented, as well as ongoing efforts to refine and enhance the model.

yixing xu is the Chief Scientist and system architect of the grid modeling project at Breakthrough Energy. Yixing has spent the entirety of his academic and industrial career working in clean energy field, spending 6 years at Intellectual Ventures where he founded the grid modeling project, and led a diverse team of experts to build a high-resolution electric grid model to support large scale clean energy integration. Previously, he worked at Alstom Grid to build energy market clearing engines for the energy industry. Yixing finished his PhD and postdoc at Texas A&M University, bachelor’s degree at Tsinghua University, all focusing on clean energy systems. 

daniel olsen earned his ph.d. from the university of washington in 2019 with a dissertation focused on policies and planning for low-carbon power systems. in his current work with the clean energy modeling team, he develops tools, datasets, and insight to aid in decarbonization of the u.s. electricity grid and beyond. previously, he worked at lawrence berkeley national laboratory researching the techno-economic potential for demand-side flexibility, with a focus on industry, agriculture, and water treatment.

kaspar mueller leads the breakthrough energy sciences software engineering group and manages the development of the electric power system simulation and visualization platform. he took on this role after more than 7 years working in various teams in europe and usa as a research software developer. he has contributed to the development of software for ocean and atmosphere flow simulations, at kth stockholm (sweden), and modeled the interaction between tsunami waves and man-engineered structures, at the university of washington, in seattle. kaspar earned a masters degree in computational science and engineering, from eth zurich, switzerland.

*if you are a stanford affiliate outside the energy resources engineering (ere) department and would like to attend, please contact emily gwynn ( for the zoom meeting link and password.

**if you are in the energy resources engineering (ere) department, you will receive an announcement from emily gwynn ( with the zoom meeting link and password.

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