Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Former Shell executive David Lawrence attended Yale University, where he earned a PhD in geology and geophysics. After more than a decade with Shell, he now serves as the CEO and chairman of the Lawrence Energy Group, an energy consultancy firm. Along with his professional responsibilities, David Lawrence conducts seminars and lectures for organizations such as the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Founded in 1900, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies focuses on providing research studies on the global environment as well as regional and local environmental issues. The school encourages a deeper understanding of how humans affect the global climate and steps they can take to help maintain a better ecosystem.
The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies publishes a research newsletter to keep students apprised of relevant topics such as holistic ecosystem management and the effect of Lyme disease on human behavior. Readers can choose to subscribe to the newsletter weekly or monthly, or simply visit the newsletter’s website at environment.yale.edu/news/category/research.
Shell Wind Energy
Retired Shell executive David Lawrence is the founder and chairman of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, an energy investment and advisory firm focused on diverse energy investment opportunities. During his time with Shell, David Lawrence oversaw many diverse energy initiatives including Shell Wind Energy.
As part of its renewable and alternative energy strategy, Shell maintains a portfolio of six operating wind projects throughout the United States. Conducted as 50:50 non-operated ventures, the projects produce approximately 425 megawatts (MW) of energy capacity net to Shell.
In California, Shell established the first commercial-scale wind project in the state at the Cabazon wind farm. Located west of Palm Springs, the Cabazon area has played host to wind turbines since the 1980s. Shell oversees a project area with 62 turbines, each of which produces 660 kilowatts of energy. The Cabazon wind project alone produces enough electricity every year to power 12,000 homes.
Together with Mitsui Wind, Shell also operates the Brazos wind farm in West Texas. Home to 160 1-MW turbines, the Brazos wind farm produces enough energy to power some 48,000 homes every year.
Carbon Capture and Storage
The founder and chairman of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, David Lawrence spent the majority of his career as an executive with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston and Royal Dutch/Shell in London and The Hague. He retired from Shell in 2013. Starting his career at the United States Geological Survey and in Shell’s Bellaire Research Center, David Lawrence is a longtime advocate of energy research and development, particularly in areas such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS refers to the process of capturing carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion before it is released into the atmosphere. Once the carbon dioxide is captured, it must be stored in such a way that it does not leak into the surrounding environment and cause damage.
Carbon capture typically involves separating carbon dioxide from the other gases produced in industrial applications and electricity generation. Pre-combustion capture involves converting fuel into a mixture of gases before ever burning it for energy. In post-combustion capture, engineers extract carbon dioxide from combustion exhaust using membrane filtration, adsorption, or cryogenic separation.
After capturing carbon dioxide, engineers typically store the gas in geological rock formations several miles below the surface of the earth. Ideal candidates for carbon storage areas include some select former gas and oil fields, which have already been assessed thoroughly in geological and hydrodynamic terms.
Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles
A former executive with Shell Upstream Americas and Royal Dutch Shell, David Lawrence has been a fixture in the US energy industry for more than 30 years. Now the head of Lawrence Energy Group, LLC, a consultant and lecturer, he has worked with groups such as the Yale Climate and Energy Institute to brainstorm solutions for adapting to climate change. David Lawrence keeps up with current trends in the renewable energy sector, such as solar panels.
Tesla recently debuted new solar roof panel technology aimed at providing a practical method of capturing solar energy. The technology employs a mix of glass tiles, solar tiles, and regular nonsolar tiles to provide
energy for a home’s needs.
According to Tesla, a solar roof designed for a 3,000 square-foot house comes in at just over $65,000, a hefty price tag that homeowners will have to pay up-front to gain potential energy savings in the future. This figure includes incentives such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit and other state and local tax credits.
In areas that get plentiful sunshine, the investment makes sense over a 30-year period, with homes in California, for example, showing a net gain in saved energy cost compared to the installation cost. In other areas, however, the energy savings may not quite reach the threshold. Homeowners should assess their specific situations and use Tesla’s cost calculator to determine if the solar roof is a good fit for their energy needs.