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New online energy courses about solar cells, fossil fuels and programs for energy conservation have been added to Stanford's Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Program.

(April 19, 2016) Stanford, CA - The energy sector has undergone dramatic changes in recent years with the rapid rise of solar, breakthroughs in other alternative energies, and a roller coaster ride in oil and gas. Staying on top of these developments is critical for professionals seeking to succeed in this evolving sector.

The Stanford Center for Professional Development, which launched the Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Program in 2012, has recently updated its course portfolio, covering proven and emerging technologies in obtaining, distributing and storing energy. New and improved online courses in the program provide working professionals with a deeper understanding of the energy sector and global access to top researchers in the field who share their knowledge and expertise.

Updated courses include Solar Cells, taught by Stanford Professor Mike McGehee (Materials Science and Engineering), and Past, Present and Future of Fossil Fuels, taught by Stanford Professor Mark Zoback (Geophysics). Solar Cells examines the latest advances in photovoltaic technology and compares solar cells made out of different materials as well as dye-sensitized and multifunction cells. Past, Present and Future of Fossil Fuels addresses how efforts to decarbonize the energy sector affect the oil and gas industries and technologies that may help bridge a transition to a low-carbon future.

A newly added course - Behaviorally Informed Design for Energy Conservation - addresses the human factors involved in increasing energy conservation. Participants will practice design thinking to understand user behavior and create strategies to influence energy consumption. The course is taught by Banny Banerjee, Professor of Practice in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and Director of Stanford ChangeLabs at Stanford University.

With over 130 countries expected to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement later this month, the mandate of an action plan to limit global warming will likely ignite industries across the world to take advantage of the renewed focus on sustainable energies. “Universities like Stanford have the opportunity to play a central role in finding solutions to our climate needs,” says Professor McGehee, academic director of the program. “The sharing of our research with professionals in the energy sector is one way we contribute to this effort.”

Enrollment in the Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Program is ongoing and open to the public. Details can be found at

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